Diamonds / Industry

Alrosa Ejected From World Diamond Council, Irish Stock Exchange


In yet more fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, state-owned diamond miner Alrosa has been removed from the World Diamond Council (WDC), which represents the industry in front of the Kimberley Process (KP).

WDC president Edward Asscher tells JCK that Alrosa’s “membership was ended, and not suspended, because our bylaws don’t mention suspension.”

“That means if everything returns to normal, whenever that will be, Alrosa will have to reapply to the WDC,” he says.

Alrosa, which is one-third owned by the Russian government, had been a WDC member up until now because “as an international group, we have to follow our bylaws, and have to look at what is allowed under anti-competition laws,” Asscher says.

But once the U.S. government added sanctions prohibiting dealings with Alrosa, that “changed the picture,” as the WDC is a U.S. corporation based in Delaware.

Alrosa was an active member of the WDC, with Alrosa head of international relations Peter Karakchiev sitting on the group’s board.

Asscher expects that the Russian invasion of Ukraine may come up at the upcoming Kimberley Process Intersessional in June. However, most observers don’t expect the KP to take any action, as the KP requires total consensus among member countries.

Alrosa has also been suspended from, or left, the Natural Diamond Council and the Responsible Jewellery Council, and its representatives have stepped down from the boards of Diamonds Do Good and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

And now Alrosa is being ejected from at least one financial exchange.

Its Eurobonds will no longer be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, starting Tuesday, due to the European Union’s sanctions against the Russian Federation, the company announced in a statement.

The diamond miner “assures that it will make every effort to secure a listing on another stock exchange that meets the requirements stipulated in the [securities issuance] documentation considering limitations imposed by the sanctions,” it said in the same statement.

Alrosa had a coupon payment due on April 9, which it says it is unable to pay due to current sanctions.

The company said in a statement that it “confirms its commitments to fulfill its obligations under the [securities issuance documentation].” It has asked the Russian government to allow it to pay in foreign currency, and the United Kingdom’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation for permission to meet its obligations under the notes.

Top: Alrosa’s diamonds (photo courtesy of Alrosa)

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By: Rob Bates

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