Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trust Us, Muslim Traders Say To Financial Institutions

BASILAN ISLAND (Darwin Wee / 28 Jun) Businessmen and entrepreneurs in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) expressed concern over the apprehension of some private banks and other financing institutions in providing them substantial amount of loans.

Some 300 Muslim traders, entrepreneurs, and businessmen who attended the region’s business congress in Lamitan town June 26-27 complained that both private and government banks and financing institutions were reluctant to approve their loans, particularly those involving large amount of money.

Datu Harun U. Bandila, ARMM Business Council president, said many banks and lending firms were hesistant to provide loans to Muslims for fear that they would not be able to repay their debts.

"Since there is no substantial capital, many Muslim businessmen are now venturing into trading. They trade goods one after another because less capital is being spent," he said.

He said to win back the trust, the business council is mulling to hold a conference with bank executives and representatives of financing institutions in the country to discuss about the matter. "The ultimate goal here is to assure the banks and financing firms that Muslim businessmen can pay, they have to trust us too," he said.

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