A consortium of central banks from Asia, the Middle East and Africa yesterday took its first step towards developing a cross-border market in Islamic financial instruments by issuing a $490m (£314.5m) sukuk. The three-month Islamic bonds, denominated in US dollars, were issued by the Malaysia-based International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM). This IILM was founded by central banks in 2010. Its debut issue was fully subscribed, the IILM said yesterday. Islamic finance, which obeys religious principles such as a ban on interest payments, has grown rapidly since the global financial crisis and is now estimated to have well over $1 trillion of assets around the world.