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Noel Lourdes to spearhead Amanie’s European expansion plans

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Islamic finance advisory house Amanie Advisors has laid out its plans to expand in Europe with Noel Lourdes, head of the firm’s European advisory division, set to drive growth in the region.

This step follows an increase in the number of European corporates looking to diversify sources of funding, highlighting the potential for growth in the sector.
 
In his role, Lourdes (pictured) will work closely with the Amanie teams in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Based in Dublin, he will report in to the Amanie group president Mohd Daud Bakar.
 
On the back of increasing Shariah Compliant investments in Malaysia and the GCC, many European countries are hoping to become hubs for Islamic finance, especially those with a good regulatory framework and financial expertise. A difficulty for the industry has been its impressive growth in less regulated markets (Malaysia excepted), which has led to a lack of confidence in Islamic finance as a means for diversifying funding sources. Amanie aims to use its knowledge and expertise of the Islamic finance sector to encourage industry growth in well-regulated markets such as the single European market.  
 
Before joining Amanie, Lourdes advised the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) principally in recovering from the crash of 2008 and in addition, helping it create an awareness of Islamic finance as an alternative source of capital. He also‫ participated in government led discussions as a Central Bank Official to position Ireland as the western hub for Islamic finance. Prior to this he worked in KPMG Corporate Finance.
 
Amanie recently appointed Dermot O’Reilly as an in-house lawyer in Dubai, responsible for business development in the GCC region and Europe. Prior to joining Amanie he worked in the international financial services division of IDA Ireland as part of the global institutions group.
 
Bakar says: “Noel’s experience means that he is ideal for this role and will be well placed to help Amanie serve a wider range of European clients. He will focus on the investment banking sector, building on the firm’s good work in the GCC region and Malaysia in helping to structure Islamic financial instruments for European issuers.
 
“We think that European corporates will really benefit from a better understanding of the core principles of Shariah compliance investing and the benefits it can provide. Where there is a lack of capital available in Europe, Islamic finance has potential to offer a valuable and affordable alternative.”
 
Lourdes says: “The opportunity for Islamic finance in Europe is a compelling one and I’m looking forward to leading Amanie’s expansion in this market. We’ve seen clear signs of appetite and a growing appreciation for Shariah products from across Europe’s leading financial centres. As a case in point, London is the first place outside the Islamic world to hold the World Islamic Forum this week, proof positive of the growing interest for Islamic finance in Europe. That growth is something we hope to encourage and be at the forefront of.”

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