The Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv has reportedly fallen silent, with trading almost ground to a halt after the coronavirus outbreak with majority of workers gone on unpaid leave, according to a report in Jerusalem Post.
Highlighting that the livelihood of some 15,000 families depends on the trading centre, one of the four largest in worldwide, Israel Diamond Exchange President Yoram Dvash had reportedly said: "The exchange is a ghost town. Traditional trade has dropped off and shifted to conferences in recent years, but the large conferences have been cancelled due to the virus.
There has also been a shift to online trading, but there is currently no appetite to buy."
Given the current situation, Dvash called on the government to “offer specific tools to some 1,500 businesses of various sizes within the exchange, emphasizing that Israel must maintain its ‘competitive advantage’ in the global industry.
Together with the World Diamond Council and three other leading nations for rough diamond imports, the Israel Diamond Exchange has appealed to De Beers Group and ALROSA to offer complete flexibility for purchases of rough diamonds under existing cash before delivery contracts. Also, the banks are a key factor in overcoming this crisis. If they take a flexible approach that understands the problems of the small businesses, we will be able to emerge better from the crisis.”