R3 Inks Deal with Wethaq to Digitize Islamic Markets
Fintech, Wethaq, has signed a strategic partnership with enterprise blockchain software firm R3 to build the next generation of financial market infrastructure to enable issuers, investors, central banks and regulators to seamlessly transact in Islamic capital markets.
Wethaq’s platform –built on R3’s Corda Enterprise – is initially aimed at improving the market infrastructure supporting the issuance and trading of Sukuk securities. There is currently substantial unmet demand for Sukuk, the global market for which is worth over $120bn annually. The platform will make Sukuk more accessible by digitizing the costly and lengthy issuance process, which is at present manual, non-standardised and fragmented.
Wethaq has been working alongside regulators in several jurisdictions to ensure the platform will be fully compliant both from financial and Shariah perspectives.
R3’s Corda Enterprise platform is specifically designed for practical business usage and includes additional security protocols that make it ideally suited to the heavily regulated and complex Sukuk capital market.
The Wethaq platform will simplify the Sukuk lifecycle, being solely accountable for performing functions that would otherwise be performed by a number of banks, clearing and trustee entities. Furthermore, the Wethaq platform is designed to seamlessly interoperate with global Financial Market Infrastructure enabling wider distribution for issuers and investors.
David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said: “Blockchain is driving an unprecedented period of innovation across capital markets, with more assets moving towards complete digitization. As such, there is no better time to seize the advantages of blockchain to transform global financial systems. Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region are areas where we see huge potential for Corda to modernize the economy and our partnership with Wethaq is a step towards achieving that.”
Mohammed Alsehli, CEO at Wethaq said: “In building the next generation of financial market infrastructure for Sukuks we have found a valuable and trusted partner in R3 and its Corda Enterprise software. Our joint focus is on building world-class financial infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and the UAE, pursuant to their ambitious fintech agenda, before we expand to the entire Middle East and Southeast Asia. We invite the wider Sukuk community to join the platform to ease access to capital markets, source new products for investors internationally and more closely integrate Sukuk markets with their global counterparts.”
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