The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) organized an alternative financing seminar this week - Diamond Financing 2017: New Opportunities New Realities - at the WFDB Presidents’ meeting 2017, which was held in Mumbai. Many important members of the industry were in attendance, including Sudhir Mungantiwar, Maharashtra’s Minister of Finance. At the inaugural session, many expressed their concern about the lack of bank financing, such as Anoop Mehta, President of the Bharat Diamond Bourse.
We at ABN AMRO support initiatives that create more insight into the value chain, its key players, engages with the right side of the market and excludes areas which show less transparency or no willingness to learn and improve. We see other banks doing the same more and more. In the end there will only be credit lines available for companies with good corporate standards and track record, whether they are small or big doesn't matter ... We expect more consolidation and certain companies going out of business.
A local businessman believes the islands are ideally placed to serve as a hub for diamond trading, being almost on the United States' doorstep. However, the Cayman Islands would face a range of hurdles, including being accepted by the KP, which could take two years, being accepted as a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), which could also be a lengthy process, and competition from the recently opened Panama Diamond Exchange. And then there is the somewhat negative public perception of the islands as a tax hideaway.
JCK's Rob Bates interviews Erik Jens, Head of ABN AMRO's Global Diamond & Jewelry Division, on the bank's new "borrowing base verification" policy, aimed to increase transparency and bankability and allowing the bank to go in-depth on its clients transactions. In Jens's words: “We want to send a strong signal to the market that we are open for business, but we want clients we are happy with,”