Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the official representative of the Antwerp diamond sector, has reached an agreement with Antwerp’s diamond banks to provide a temporary additional financial mechanism in support of Antwerp’s diamond dealers.
The initiative was announced during a working visit of Kris Peeters, leader of the Flemish government, to Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
The diamond banks have now agreed to provide new credit facilities up to a maximum of 1 billion euros, for a period of two years, in exchange of stock collateral and under existing credit conditions, on condition of approval by the Belgian Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission. AWDC will be in charge of the valuation of the securities and the transparence of the operation, so as to secure the position of the banks.
In addition, the diamond sector has asked a temporary additional guarantee of 200 million euros from the Flemish government in order to restore the confidence in the diamond sector.
The AWDC noted that, as a result of the worldwide financial and economic crisis, the import and export of polished diamonds decreased 32% and 28%, respectively, during the first four months of the year. The import and export of rough diamonds has decreased 45% and 30%, respectively.