Russia’s Eximbank has started offering credit to rough-diamond buyers through a loan deal with an Antwerp-based Alrosa client, the miner said.
The state-owned lender has agreed to finance purchases for manufacturer and trader Dali Diamond via a two-year revolving credit line in euros, Alrosa said. Dali began using the funds during the miner’s January trading session. Alrosa assisted in the negotiations as it is “interested in ensuring that our clients receive timely financing,” a spokesperson for the miner explained.
“[Since] we often hear that sources of financing in the industry [have been reduced] and key players have decided to withdraw from the sector or are considering such an option, the…financing that took place is encouraging and is a milestone for the whole diamond market,” added Alrosa deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev.
Eximbank is a unit of the Russian Export Center, which helps Russian companies sell their goods overseas. The transaction with Dali marks the start of the financial institution’s cooperation with the diamond industry, and could lead to further collaboration with Alrosa on diamond-export projects, the miner continued.
The diamond trade has increasingly struggled to obtain credit, partly due to financial scandals such as the alleged fraud by Indian jewelry tycoon Nirav Modi in 2018. ABN Amro, Standard Chartered and ICICI Bank are among lenders that have exited the sector or reduced their exposure in recent years.
Image: Rough diamonds from Alrosa. (Alrosa)