Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash has called for an increase in credit lines to finance the diamond industry worldwide. He said the world diamond industry needs to work together to secure additional financing. He made the comments following reports last month that Standard Chartered Bank, which has about $2 billion in exposure to the diamond industry, was demanding additional loan protection from diamond clients. It is now asking diamond manufacturing clients to secure payment insurance or provide 100% collateral.
Dvash said that the U.K. bank’s exposure to the diamond sector is less than 1% of its total business but it is still seeking additional security against possible problems in the future. "This shows how tough the situation is for the diamond industry worldwide," he noted. “Since we depend on a steady supply of credit, we need to work twice as hard to find solutions,” said Dvash. He added that his aim was to persuade banking officials that "backing the diamond industry makes good business sense."