The sale of Antwerp Diamond Bank to China’s Yinren Group appears stalled, and some fear the 80-year-old bank might liquidate, according to Belgian reports citing newspaper De Tijd.
Parent company KBC, directed by regulators to divest the bank, agreed to sell it to the Chinese Yinren Group for an undisclosed amount in December. But the sale—which requires regulatory approval—has hit a snag, the reports said, and the bank might be shut down as “there are no other acquisition candidates.”
A KBC spokesperson declined comment, citing confidentiality, but said the bank would make a statement “if there was relevant news.” Antwerp Diamond Bank CEO Pierre De Bosscher and Yinren did not respond to requests for comment.
Antwerp World Diamond Centre spokesperson Margaux Donckier tells JCK the Belgian industry organization is closely following developments.
“Considering the importance of the Antwerp Diamond Bank for the trade in Antwerp, it is vital for us that a last-ditch effort is made to find a solution,” she says. “We count on all parties to use this opportunity to its fullest extent.”
If the Antwerp Diamond Bank closes, that would be another blow to an industry already reeling from a number of banks leaving the jewelry business, including Bank Leumi, JPMorgan Chase, and Sovereign Bank.