Ministry has high hopes for sharia microfinancing

The government forecasts a rapid growth in assets managed by Indonesian sharia-based microfinancing institutions, or baitul maal wat tamwil (BMTs), on the back of rising public trust.
Speaking at the BMT Summit last week, Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syariefuddin Hasan said popular awareness of the benefits of sharia-based microfinancing had grown rapidly after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.
According to the ministry, there are presently 3,307 BMTs in Indonesia with assets of Rp 3.6 trillion (US$403.2 million). BMT serve 2.5 million of the nation’s 39 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and control about 6 percent of total SME credit.