Excerpts from a Rapaport interview with Davy Blommaert, former business developer at Antwerp Diamond Bank and currently head of the diamond lending segment of the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The bank intends to enter into diamond lending in the hopes that a perceived "geological shift" in the diamond trade will lead to more diamond business coming to Dubai, but there are caveats.
Blommaert: "Since I joined NBF earlier this year, we’ve moved into financing rough diamond purchases for rough trading, manufacturing and polished trading. However, we only intend to provide loans to Dubai-based companies for the purpose of financing their trade from Dubai. We will not finance to Belgium or India-based companies. Even among the larger corporate groups, we only want to develop a relationship with a Dubai-based subsidiary, if they have one. We will not build a relationship with a parent company based elsewhere."
His advice to diamantaires: "The most important thing is to make sure that you have a good market reputation. [We] have no limit or target in terms of the size of our diamond loan portfolio. Every loan is approved on a case-by-case basis. It’s about the quality of our clients, not the quantity."