Stock in Reverse
Lazare Kaplan International, the only publicly traded U.S. diamond wholesaler, was removed from the Nasdaq exchange June 25. The company’s stock is now quoted on the Pink Sheets Marketplace. NYSE Amex sent the New York City manufacturer a letter June 18 stating the exchange’s intent to delist its stock, following LKI’s failure to file complete financial reports for more than a year due to “material uncertainty.” In an SEC filing, LKI said it “intends to continue to work as expeditiously as possible to resolve the Material Uncertainties so that the Company can file all of its delinquent SEC reports. Upon filing all such reports, the Company presently expects to reapply to the Exchange for its common stock to again be listed…” LKI’s material uncertainties seem related to its insurance woes. On May 17, the DTC sightholder sued various European insurers for $640 million, alleging it is owed money over lost diamonds. Its chief financial officer could not be reached for comment. —Rob Bates
In June, Indian diamantaires were elected to prominent positions in two major industry groups, a shift in a business where associations are traditionally ethnically segmented.
Members of Antwerp’s Indian community won all six open spots on the board of Antwerp World Diamond Centre on June 17. (Mumbai’s Business Standard proclaimed it an “Indian sweep,” declaring that Indians “have cemented their status as the new moguls of the global diamond trade.”) The board voted Nishit Parikh, head of DTC sightholder Diarough, president for the next two years. A Belgian citizen, Parikh was born in Navsari, India, and moved to Antwerp in 1975.
A week later, Kuber Manufacturing’s Basant Johari was elected first vice president of the New York Diamond Dealers Club. Johari, a former DDC board chair, is the first person of Indian origin to hold a prominent position at the club. The VP role is often considered the bourse’s most important and politically sensitive, since it oversees arbitrations. “There is no point in all the segmentation,” Johari says. “We need to all go forward together, while at the same time retaining our own identity.” —RB