The huge restructuring of the diversified miner, which owns 85% of De Beers, could be preparation for a company takeover, says Paul Gait, an analyst for Bernstein in an an article on mining.com. “No longer does this feel simply like an asset slim-down in order to repair the balance sheet in the near term,” wrote Gait in a report issued on March 29. “Instead it feels like a management team driving towards an exit of the business in the medium term,” he added.
Antwerp's rough diamond exports for the first quarter of 2016 increased 21% in volume to 31 million carats over the same period of 2015 while value remained steady at $3.2 billion, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. This solid result comes despite the fact that De Beers - one of the two largest diamond companies in the world - only held two sights during Q1 2016 as opposed to three sights in Q1 2015, meaning that approximately $400-450 million fewer rough diamonds were on the market in Q1 this year.
Indian Prime Minister Modi is paying a visit to Belgium today. Given the importance of diamonds in the trade relations between Belgium and India, the Indian Prime Minister personally welcomed members from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s Board of Directors. AWDC is the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry. Belgium is one of Europe’s top three trade partners with India, and is the second largest exporter of goods to India. This is primarily attributable to the diamond trade.
For the past three days a delegation of leading jewelers and diamond traders from Kuwait have been getting acquainted with their counterparts in Antwerp, enjoying a behind-the-scenes look at the diamond capital and doing business at high-level networking events. The visit from the up-and-coming diamond market of Kuwait - long a major player in the pearl, gold and gemstone jewelry trade - signals the launch of a new initiative by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the Antwerp Diamond Experience.
Russian News Agency TASS reports that the Moscow Exchange is interested in developing the exchange trade in diamonds and is considering a relevant proposal made by the Russian diamond producer Alrosa, Chief Executive of the Exchange Alexander Afanasyev said on Thursday on the sidelines of the congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. "We are discussing this issue with Alrosa.
Professional Jeweller reports that the London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has launched its first online diamond stock platform, created to enhance membership benefits and improve the searchability of diamond dealers’ stock. The online platform, run from the LDB’s website, allows members to quickly and easily search for stones from fellow members.
The New York Times reports French luxury group LVMH, the world's largest by sales, recorded a €6.6bn (US$7.2bn) profit last year, up 16% compared to 2014. Total sales amounted to US$38.8bn, up 6% YoY or double of what analysts estimated previously. Strong sales in the US, Europe and Japan outweighed slow business in China, where the luxury group recently closed several stores.
For many in Botswana, the discovery in November of the second-largest diamond ever found, weighing 1,111 carats, simply puts the spotlight on how little diamonds are helping the country's citizens, the Guardian reports, with national diamond miner Debswana channeling just $1.36 million annually to corporate social responsibility projects. “Debswana has a CSR fund – it’s more like a public relations fund,” said Victor Thanke, chair of the Zowa Development Trust, an NGO based in Letlhakane where there is a diamond mine, a settlement in Boteti.
The Financieele Dagblad (Netherlands) takes a look at the level of transparency in the small and middle-sized diamond trade in Surat, India, concluding that traders on the local market still turn a blind eye to demands for official invoicing. The little paper envelopes with scribbled details of the contents and price – so familiar in the diamond trade – are the only paperwork to be found at the dusty street-side Hira Bazar (diamond market) in Surat. “This is how we do business worth millions of rupees,” says local dealer Prakash Kathri.
GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya led a delegation of diamantaires and other industry representatives to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to talk about some of the critical issues facing the gems and jewelry industry in India. The delegation requested the introduction of a Special Turnover Tax regime for the diamond industry with 0.75% tax on sales turnover. This would be along the lines of the tax regimes seen in other diamond trading nations like Belgium and Israel.
More than 60 Indian exhibitors and several hundred buyers took part in the first day of the fourth India Diamond Week (IDW) being held this week on trading floor of the Diamond Dealers Club (DDC) in New York. The event is being held from January 18 to January 21. The trading event is one of several such inter-bourse shows held around the world, and is jointly organized by the DDC and India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
A decline of more than seven percent at the start of trading on Chinese markets on Thursday triggered an automatic suspension. It was the second day this week that trading was suspended and again led to an Asia-wide sell-off as Beijing reduced the value of its yuan currency by the most since August. Chinese investors sold off on fears that the country's economy, a key driver of global growth and the world's second-largest diamond consumer, is in deeper trouble than previously suspected.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council in association with the Diamond Dealers Club of New York will hold the 4th India Diamond Week from January 18 to 21 at the DDC premises. Around 15 Indian diamond companies will be participating.
The Surat Diamond Association (SDA) has made it compulsory for diamond merchants and manufacturers to buy and sell diamonds by exchanging promissory notes, which are a valid sales document, and has abolished the long-used system of paper chits which have been used in the diamond trade in India's largest diamond manufacturing center for more than six decades. In recent years some traders had failed to pay up despite handing over a chit. Promissory notes, on the other hand, permit legal recourse for fraud victims.
China's Shanghai stock index dropped almost 7 percent on Monday, the first day of trading of 2016, and trading in Chinese shares was halted for the rest of the day as poor Chinese manufacturing data and Middle East tensions weighed on Asian markets, according to reports. Shares across Asia fell after the latest signal that China’s economy is stalling with an index of Chinese manufacturing activity showing an ongoing weakening. China’s manufacturing sector is being hit by overcapacity, falling prices and weak demand.
In an unusual step, Zimbabwe says that it will make the Chinese yuan legal tender in the country after Beijing agreed to cancel $40 million in debts. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the move comes as Zimbabwe seeks to increase trade with Beijing, and usage of the yuan “will be a function of trade between China and Zimbabwe and acceptability with customers in Zimbabwe." China is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner following Zimbabwe’s isolation by former western trading partners due to Harare’s human rights record.
The National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has opened a diamond financing office in the Almas Tower, part of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. The opening follows the establishment of a specialized diamond financing team in April this year focused on financing manufacturers and traders of rough and polished goods. According to a report in Emirates24/7, the unit brings in industry expert in order to provide a range of trade finance products tailored to client needs.
India and Russia will look to utilise PM Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Moscow to strengthen ties beyond defence with the creation of a joint innovation fund, in addition to prospective investments from Russia in the National Infrastructure Fund and expanding bilateral trade basket beyond diamonds and pharmacy. Officials said a joint $3-billion fund to promote startups in the nanotechnology field could be concretised during the PM's visit.
Around a quarter (24%) of affluent consumers plan to give jewelry and watches as holiday gifts, in line with previous years, according to the annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth, conducted by YouGov in partnership with Time Inc. The survey found that jewelry purchases are largely driven by consumers in the top 1 percent of all incomes, defined as those with an income of $450,000 and more. Almost one-third (31%) plans to buy jewelry or a watch, versus 21% of the rest of the population. Meanwhile, 35% of millennials plan to buy jewelry or watches, versus 22% in other age groups.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre issued a statement reaffirming the strong ties between the two diamond powerhouses, Alrosa and Antwerp: "The excellent collaboration between Antwerp, the leading diamond trade hub, and Russian mining giant Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer, was once again highlighted at an exclusive networking event in the margins of Alrosa’s diamond tender period.
"Anglo American is the classic tale of over-extending during the good times only to be left with too much debt and too little money when markets take a dive," writes Bloomberg's Thomas Biesheuvel. As the diversified miner cuts deep in a bid to cope with a sharp decline in commodities, the firm will eventually employ 50,000 people. Although that's a huge number, it's an incredible 85,000 fewer than now. It will control a maximum of 25 assets, down from 55 today, and any mines that don’t make money will be put up for sale or simply shut.
Analyst Peter Schiff does not believe the U.S. economy is strong enough yet to cope with even the expected rise of 25 basis points next week by America's central bank. Consequently, the increase, which has been massively flagged, will likely be the last one for some time and the Fed might even face the possibility of canceling it out next year. Schiff points out that since the end of WWII, the United States has seen a recession every six years, and since the last one was eight years ago, it is overdue the next one…
The India Diamond Trading Centre (IDTC), the first such trading zone to be set up in the country to trade rough diamonds under special laws, in the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai recently completed its first test shipment. The test shipment, from Rio Tinto has now been re-exported back to the mining firm.
A private project with private investors may see a new diamond exchange established in Lisbon in two or three years. Project Manager Vitor Rita said a location is almost set near Lisbon's international airport, Rough & Polished reports. The project has performed a virtual debut on Facebook. According to Rita, the exchange will cover 30,000 square meters for the trading of rough and polished diamonds, gold and jewelry. It would also host diamond cutting companies, labs, gemology schools, security companies, banks, and other service providers.
Antwerp World Diamond Centre has published its October import and export figures for the Belgian diamond industry, which show a slight uptick in its rough diamond trade despite global industry woes. The most notable result is that October rough diamond exports jumped 26% YoY in volume, from 6.9 million to 8.7 million carats, though they only rose 1% in value to $1.01 billion. Rough imports in October also rose 6% in volume, but value actually decreased by 14%. These figures indicate a developing trend in the rough as well as polished market toward lower priced goods across the board.
India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) of Mumbai gave a delegation from Botswana, led by the country's vice president, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, a presentation on India's diamond business, while the sides also discussed the challenges facing the global diamond trade. GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said: “You are the largest producers of rough diamonds and we are the largest manufacturing center.
In a recently released report the International Monetary Fund (IMF) details the request by Central African Republic authorities for additional IMF funds under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). In addition to various policy recommendations, the report mentions (Box 2, page 9) the CAR government is looking at measures to enable the local diamond industry to benefit the economy.
India's diamond trade hub in Mumbai is finally nearing fruition, as the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) for rough diamonds will become functional as from November. The intention is to bring relief to Indian traders who will be able to deal directly with international miners and save on money paid to middlemen. According to industry data, India polishes 85% of the rough diamonds sold globally, but only 15% of the stones are imported directly, the rest being bought through the middlemen.
The newly elected Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC), Praveenshankar Pandya and Vice Chairman, Russell Mehta addressed a Press Conference on 20th Oct. and shared the strategy and policy recommendations of the new team to restore the health of the Indian gems and jewelry industry.
The inaugural International Emerald Symposium took place in Bogota, Colombia from October 13 to 15, with addresses by representatives of governments and the private sector from Colombia and other important centers of the emerald trade across the globe. The event was supported by all the country's emerald-related bodies. Organizers said it was the first time that producer countries had come together at a high-level international gathering to address issues relating to the emerald business.
The newly-formed United States Jewelry Council (USJC), a coalition of leading diamond, gem and jewelry trade associations, has elected Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA) President Ronnie VanderLinden to head it. The USJC aims to assure that the U.S. jewelry industry is collectively represented at government and international levels and will deal more effectively with key issues of social, ethical and environmental importance that might impact the U.S. jewelry industry at large.
In a press release, the Panama Diamond Exchange has announced that three of the world's largest diamond companies have opened their Latin American offices in the Panama Diamond Exchange building at the World Jewelry Hub. The companies, which are all De Beers sightholders, include: Diarough, Jewelex and Kiran Gems. They are all among the world's largest manufacturers of polished diamonds and leading diamond wholesalers. "The opening of Panama office is an important step for our company," said Ashit Parikh, President of Emby International/Diarough in New York.
As China’s Golden Week wrapped up at the end of last week, China watchers are keeping a close eye on Golden Week tourism spending and traffic to assess the state of the country's economy as a slowdown reduces demand for diamonds and jewelry.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Ambassador of Belgium to the Russian Federation, H.E. Alex Van Meeuwen, are inviting diamond companies to an exclusive meet and greet event to be attended by the Governor of Antwerp, Cathy Berx, and the President of ALROSA, Andrey Zharkov in Moscow on December 9. The meeting is aimed at enabling networking between ALROSA and members of the Antwerp diamond trading hub.
The reputation of the global diamond industry may face a threat from illegal money transfers from developing countries and emerging markets to safe-haven locations. GemKonnect reports on industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar's report on a supposed $4.5 billion discrepancy between the annual 2014 rough diamond production estimate of the Kimberley Process (KP) and the estimate from the 2015 Diamond Insight Report published by De Beers last month.
Last Monday, the Zimbabwean government and the European Union signed a €89 million package of agreements for health, agriculture and institution building in the country). At the signing ceremony, Head of EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, said EU member states are engaging with Zimbabwe not only in through aid but also increasingly through trade and investment.
The latest data from the Department of Commerce showed a 3.5% rise in total sales of fine jewelry and watches in the American market in July. Specialty jewelers which gain most of their revenues from jewelry and watch sales, recorded a 2.9% rise in sales during the month, while jewelry sales at larger general stores such as Wal-Mart and Costco showed an even higher increase – up by an estimated 3.9% during the period. July is a generally quite month for jewelry sales since there are no special sales occasions, and it accounts for around 7% of the U.S.
The return from the summer break has been anything but smooth. While the focus has been on the Sights, there are other issues, such as long-term trends, that are becoming clearer as we dive deeper into the current crisis.
Deputy Prime Minister and the presidential envoy in the Far Eastern Federal District, Yuri Trutnev, said that a trade platform for diamonds may be created in the Far East in 2016: "We will try to create a trade platform next year." The format, whether an exchange or a marketplace, is as yet undetermined, "but we plan to negotiate primarily with Chinese partners that purchase large volumes of diamonds from ALROSA." Trutnev said that ALROSA will conduct the talks with the Chinese partners.
Angola produced and sold 865,000 carats of diamonds in July, estimated at 115.4 million US dollars, an average price of 133 per carat. This represents a 15.66% increase in volume and a 24.22% in value compared to June. This rise was due to increased production of Catoca mine and to increased trading of fine diamonds, which usually occurs every two months. Production in July 2014 was 685,488 carats, valued at USD 92.5 million, an average price of USD 135 per carat.