Firm boosts Irish Islamic finance sector


Amanie Advisors, the global Islamic capital markets advisory firm, has set up an Irish operation. The move is seen as a further boost to Ireland's growing Islamic finance sector, and will facilitate both Irish and European companies access funding through the Islamic capital markets.

Dr Daud Bakar, group chairman of Amanie, said it chose Ireland due to its "growing reputation as a hub for Islamic finance operations". Amanie has a base in Luxembourg but, according to Noel Lourdes, who will head up its new operation, Dublin will act as the hub for originating and structuring Islamic bond deals.

"Our biggest pipeline of potential deals is coming from sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns and semi-states across Europe," he said, adding that it has had discussions with a number of governments and semi-states looking at raising capital for infrastructure projects. In Ireland, Amanie is already working with semi-states like the ESB.

According to Mr Lourdes, who worked as an adviser to the Central Bank from 2009 to 2012, there is about $60 billion of unallocated capital in Malaysia, the centre of Islamic finance, and a "shortage of people tapping that market".