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Shining a light on NBF’s strides in the precious metals & jewellery sector

Ajay Salia, Head - Precious Metals & Diamonds, NBF

From the very early days of pearl diving, the UAE has strongly positioned itself as one of the top players in the global jewellery trade thanks to its strategic location and proximity to major trade centers around the world.  Over the years, the UAE transformed itself from a pearl producing nation to a facilitator of pearl trade. Today, the UAE sits amongst the top trading countries in precious metals, diamond, and jewellery. In fact, the UAE’s total estimated trade volume is USD 80 billion across diamond and gold, with diamond making up around a total of USD 35 billion.  

This status has been further cemented by the country’s high ranking for ease of doing business. This has been key to attracting investors and stakeholders across the supply chain and enabling them to benefit from this unique growth environment. 

With this in mind, National Bank of Fujairah emerged as the partner for businesses leveraging its segmented and multi-disciplinary sectorial approach with twelve business segments namely, Business Banking, Trading and Diversified, Energy and Marine, Government and Large Corporates, Contracting, Services and Manufacturing, Financial Institutions, Government and Liability Management, Equipment Finance, Global Transaction Services, Corporate Finance and Precious Metals and Diamond.

With its multi-disciplinary approach and in-depth sectorial knowledge in Precious Metals and Diamond industry, NBF has been focused on addressing the financing gap in the market as the sector continued to grow and further boost economic diversification efforts.

NBF’s journey with bullion banking commenced with gold financing in 2002, when the bank first established its relationship with a prominent European bank to supply bullion. Prior to that, the bank had been financing trade via conventional credit facilities. Starting with a small core team and a handful of customers, NBF was quickly able to make a mark as a reliable partner in the industry. 

Building strong supply relationships with the bullion banks and refineries across the world was instrumental to the inception of NBF’s bullion offerings, and to catering to the local jewellery industry. As such, the bank began providing specialised lending in the form of gold in an aim to finance the core working capital requirements of the jewellery industry. It then launched its product offerings in several categories including the gold loan, unfixed gold, gold variation margin overdraft, other working capital and hedging facilities.

NBF’s dedicated Precious Metals and Diamond team, which has grown year over year, has remained focused on providing personalised services to UAE-based clients in the jewellery and diamond industry, covering major verticals namely, gold and diamond jewellery, rough and polished diamonds. Based in Dubai’s Almas Tower, in the heart of one of the world’s biggest diamond trading centres, NBF’s diamond financing team focuses on providing short-term trade finance products to established rough and polished diamond traders and manufacturers. With its vaulting facilities, both in-house and with Transguard in Deira Gold Souk in Dubai, the bank’s services entail facilitating trades in gold, platinum and silver.

Testament to its leading status, the bank structured Shari’a-compliant bullion financing solution for its customer, one of the largest jewellery retail chains, making the first-ever transaction of its kind, in accordance with the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Institutions (AAOIFI) standards, in the precious metals industry in the UAE.

With unmatched sector-specific knowledge, NBF is ideally positioned as the financial partner for stakeholders across the supply chain in the Precious Metals and Diamond trade. With in-depth understanding of the industry, the NBF team can uniquely identify growth opportunities for partners both within the UAE and beyond as to help them succeed and grow their business.

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