Khabar Southeast Asia

Thailand: Muslim savings and loans co-ops becoming popular

Islamic credit unions are expanding in Thailand and offering investors sharia-compliant services. Worawit Baru, a former senator from Pattani, heads the Southern Thailand Islamic Co-operatives Network (Sticon), an association of faith-based credit unions. During his days in parliament, many businessmen in Bangkok were unaware of the popularity of the Islamic co-operative business model in the Deep South, he said. Today, the network of member-owned, non-profit savings and loan co-operatives has expanded to other parts of Thailand. Among the fastest growing faith-based credit unions is Hat Yai-based As-Siddeek Islamic Co-operative Limited (AIC). Under an agreement with other Sticon members, AIC has no plans to expand farther south.

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