Nearly one in five people engaged in India’s diamond industry, or about 100,000 workers, are said to be at risk of losing their jobs in the next six months, a representative of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) told The Economic Times. “The diamond trade in Surat could potentially lose one lakh (100,000) jobs in the next two quarters due to the increase in duty, lack of ease of doing business and the liquidity crunch.
The majority of small and medium diamond manufacturing units in India are planning to close shop and take an early Diwali vacation as sentiment in the diamond cutting and manufacturing centre is faltering, writes the Times of India. Depreciation of the Indian rupee has put heavy pressure on the trading of polished diamonds amid dwindling demand, falling polished prices, firm rough diamond prices and the banks squeezing loans to the industry.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA has tested a new payment mechanism enabling foreign clients to purchase rough stones using Russian currency. As an experiment, transactions were conducted with clients from China and India, and if necessary, the company is prepared to use this payment scheme in rubles in the future.
Despite a slight uptick in revenues (to $3.2 billion from $3.1 billion), higher production costs weighed down De Beers' first half underlying earnings (EBITDA/earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) by 9% percent, falling to $712 million from $786 million. While the company's top representatives emphasized its strong first half both operationally and financially, with continued growth in consumer demand, De Beers CFO Nimesh Patel attributed the decline in EBITA "principally" to "the stronger [South African] rand.
D1 Mint Limited, the creator of the diamond-backed crypto asset D1 Coin, has signed its first purchase agreement to buy 1,500 investment-grade diamonds, valued at approximately $20 million, from diamond cutting and polishing company KGK Diamonds.
Rio Tinto and The Perth Mint have showcased a A$1.8 million (US$1.36 million) one-of-a-kind coin collection featuring three coloured diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Australian Trilogy, the beautiful collectable comprises three precious metal coins each hand crafted with a pink, purple pink and violet diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia.
In a major blow to the already struggling jewelry sector in India, the government might cut the threshold limit for the requirement of the permanent account number (PAN) or Unique Identity Code (Adhaar Number) in urban, and Kisan Credit Card number in rural areas for jewelry or bullion purchases between Rs 50,000-100,000 ($740-1,480), writes Business Standard. The Budget, announced Wednesday, is likely to further tighten the noose around black money after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8, 2016.
India's Titan Company said in a stock exchange filing that its performance in the October-December quarter was lifted by a 15 percent retail growth in its jewelry brand, Tanishq, despite India’s demonetization of the country’s ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes weakening consumer demand, writes Azman Usmani for Bloomberg Quiint. Titan Company Ltd.
Chinese shoppers are generally estimated to make approximately 30% of the world’s luxury purchases, and according to De Beers "Diamond Insight Report", Mainland Chinese demand for diamond jewelry doubled from a 7% global share in 2008 to 14% in 2015, making it the second largest consumer of diamond jewelry. Bain & Company estimated their share of the global luxury market decreased by one percentage point in 2016, due mainly to China’s economic growth slowdown, thriving deman
Diamond industry analyst Avi Krawitz presents his thoughtful analysis of the year that was in the diamond industry 2016: "The Year Trust Returned to the Diamond Trade".
Reflecting on the impact of the Trump election victory on the future of the diamond trade, particularly on the U.S. and India, independent industry consultant Pranay Narvekar writes in GJEPC's Solitaire International that America's share of the global polished diamond market - already the highest by far at 45% of total value - should only increase in the coming years, while the strength of the dollar and other expected policy moves will only exacerbate uncertainty throughout the trade.
"Any payment above Rs 5,000 to suppliers, contractors, grantee/loanee institutions etc by Government departments to be made now through e-Payment," reads the statement from the Indian Government. The Finance Ministry on Monday made it mandatory for all government departments to make payments above Rs 5,000 ($73) through e-Payment facility and not cash, and has directed all the departments to implement the fresh order with immediate effect
Small and medium diamond traders in Surat, the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing center, are facing difficult days due to the cash crisis and the government's demonetization decision.
"Uncertainity looms large over the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing industry in Surat following the scrapping of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency note by the government," writes the Times of India (TOI) on the sudden currency ban.
Last week's surprise announcement that the Indian government was imposing a ban on denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes has already has already started to unleash a profound impact on the diamond industry and beyond. On the one hand, industry insiders are saying that payments in Surat would come grinding to a halt for at least the next two to three months owing to paucity of cash funds, and defaults as such would rise.
Rio Tinto has revealedl the world’s first coin to feature a rare red diamond from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Kimberley Treasure and for sale at AU$1 million (US$760,000), the incredible collectable has been crafted from one kilogram of 99.99% fine gold, and features a radiant cut 0.54 carat red diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Kimberley Treasure is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is making preparations to remove the most valuable European banknote - the €500 note - from circulation. The bills too often serve illicit purposes, says the bank. "We are actively considering the issue and will take a decision soon," said member of the ECB board Benoît Coeuré in French newspaper Le Parisien. "The competent authorities increasingly suspect that the notes are used for illicit objectives.
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.
China will be launching the China International Payment System (CIPS) as early as September or October this year. The CIPS system would allow hassle-free transactions, enabling foreign companies to conduct financial transactions with Chinese companies directly. CIPS could have a positive impact on China's international transactions and will place the yuan on an equal position with other world currencies in terms of risk reduction, operating hours and maximizing liquidity.
ALROSA predicts that its profits will decline 2.6 times (RUB 21.8 billion) in 2014 to RUB 13.7 billion versus 2013, mainly due to the weakening of the ruble