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ABN Amro to Cease Hong Kong Diamond Lending

Aug 13, 2020 9:17 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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Dutch bank ABN Amro will close its Hong Kong diamond business in a major trimming of its global operations.

The company is shutting the branch from which it lends to the local polished market, as part of a retreat from all trade-finance activities outside northwest Europe, a company spokesperson told Rapaport News Thursday. The decision leaves ABN Amro with just its Belgium office servicing the diamond and jewelry industry, after it ceased operations in the US and United Arab Emirates in 2018.

However, the bank will continue to “de-risk” the Antwerp business, which specialises in financing rough purchases, the spokesperson explained. Last year, ABN Amro capped lending at 65% of a rough stone’s value — down from 70% — and said it would only offer financing when there was evidence the goods were profitable. Where necessary, the company will also reduce individual clients’ credit limits.

“This de-risking strategy is something that [has] already [been] done for a number of years,” the spokesperson added.

Image: An ABN Amro branch in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. (Shutterstock)
Tags: ABN Amro, Antwerp, Belgium, credit, finance, financing, Hong Kong, Joshua Freedman, lending, Netherlands
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