Veteran Israeli diamond dealer Hanan Abramovich has been remanded in custody for a further two days on suspicion of fraudulently acquiring $55 million of diamonds. In addition, his son was remanded for 24 hours on suspicion of being involved, Israeli financial news outlet, TheMarker reported, citing Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) sources. His son was questioned by police after diamantaires said that he was involved in his father's business, though he claimed to not know anything about them during questioning.
Israel Police are investigating serious allegations of a huge diamond theft at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) which could lead to the bankruptcy of up to a dozen diamond companies at the bourse. The suspicions center on veteran diamond dealer Hanan Abramovich who is suspected of stealing the diamonds and was arrested on Tuesday evening. Details of the investigation indicate that diamonds valued at around $60 million are involved, the Globes web site reported.
Israel’s polished-diamond exports fell 17 percent to $1.44 billion in the first quarter 2016 as shipments to key trade partners such as the U.S. slumped, according to a report from Rapaport News based on data compiled by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Exports of cut diamonds to the U.S., Israel's largest trading partner, after returns slid 21 percent to $499.2 million over January to March. In volume terms, polished exports dropped 15 percent to 528,310 carats, resulting in a 2.1-percent decline in the average price to $2,720 per carat.
Reports from multiple sources are starting to detail the murky structures hiding the tremendous wealth accumulated by certain players in the diamond and gold trade that emerged through last week's release of the Panama Papers.
Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash has called for an increase in credit lines to finance the diamond industry worldwide. He said the world diamond industry needs to work together to secure additional financing. He made the comments following reports last month that Standard Chartered Bank, which has about $2 billion in exposure to the diamond industry, was demanding additional loan protection from diamond clients. It is now asking diamond manufacturing clients to secure payment insurance or provide 100% collateral.
As the Russian economy worsens and the crisis between Turkey and the Russian Federation remains in deep freeze, Turkish jewelry exporters are looking for new markets for their goods. Producers aim to expand exports by 30% to $3.5 billion this year by focusing on new markets, after seeing decreases of around 15% on the year in 2015 as demand from Russia plunged, reported the Hurriyet newspaper. “Russia and the Turkic republics have been our key markets, but Russian economic activities have ground to a halt since the Ukraine crisis.
Diamond companies exhibiting at the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show reported satisfactory activity in the opening days, with visitor traffic stronger than at last year's fair, Rapaport reported. The show for exhibitors of precious gems, semi-precious stones and pearls opened at the AsiaWorld Expo close to Hong Kong's airport on March 1 and runs until March 5.
Diamond manufacturing technology maker Sarine Technologies posted a 32% drop in revenue to $12.4 million in the fourth quarter which ended December 31 due to declining levels of diamond manufacturing. Meanwhile, profits dropped even more – down 62% on the year to $1.5 million in the quarter. For all of 2015, revenue plunged 45% to $48.5 million and profits dropped 87% to $3.6 million.
The former top Belgian-Israeli diamond dealer and former De Beers sightholder, Erez Daleyot, who cleared out his Antwerp business leaving behind debts totalling nearly $230 million (€208 million), has thus far eluded his creditors by allegedly hiding out in Israel or South Africa - where he also used to run one of the largest diamond factories, reports Belgian daily De Tijd. Last week, the Antwerp Court of Appeals finally put the case to rest, declaring his former company D.D.
Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash says there is a decline in demand and a rise in competition, and there has been a 40% drop in Israeli polished diamond exports since 2011, according to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's biggest-selling daily newspaper. "The Israeli diamond industry has a glittering image, but in the IDE there are not a few diamantaires who are unable to make ends meet on a monthly basis," Dvash told the paper. Last year, Israel exported $5 billion of polished compared with $6.3 billion in 2014.
The International Diamond Week at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) officially opens today in the diamond trading hall of the bourse, with hundreds of buyers from overseas participating in the event, the IDE said. CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri will carry out the official opening of the buyers' week, which runs until February 18, and later will sign a statement of purpose for the establishment of the Israel Diamond Jewelry organization. Later on Monday, a panel will address the issue of marketing diamonds.
Rapaport News reports that, "Polished imports to the U.S fell 4% to $23.1 billion in 2015 after the trade registered a relatively slower end to the year. By volume, polished imports dropped 5% to 11.125 million carats, while the average price of the imports rose 1% to $2,076 per carat, according to provisional government data. Israel was the largest supplier even though imports slumped 10% to $8.32 billion. U.S.
The GIA has extended the submission date for the confirmation service announced on November 25 to March 31 in response to concerns expressed by members of the trade. Anyone with a GIA grading report originally issued between November 2014 and October 2015 who is concerned about the validity of the report due to the unauthorized changes to grading reports uncovered in October 2015 may submit the original report and the referenced diamond to any GIA location for the confirmation service at no charge until the March 31 deadline for submissions, the GIA said in a statement.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has appointed Eli Avidar, the Managing Director of the Israel Diamond Institute, as its new Managing Director, effective immediately. Avidar replaces Moti Besser who completed two terms as Managing Director. Avidar served as the IDI's Managing Director since January 2007, and was previously in Israel's Foreign Service.
Diamond manufacturing technology maker Sarine Technologies reports that the holiday season in the key U.S. diamond jewelry market, which accounts for sales of approximately 40% of worldwide demand, "has overall been positive, with sales generally meeting or exceeding expectations. Furthermore, wholesale buying for the Chinese New Year has commenced positively. There have thus developed, as we had previously surmised, distinct shortages of high-demand goods, primarily in the size range of 0.3 – 2.0 carats, Colors of D – H and Clarity grades of SI1 – I2 (often referred to as U.S.
Israel's Channel 10 has aired a hard-hitting investigative program on the Israel Diamond Exchange, particularly the methods used by a so-called underground bank which operated from 2005 to 2011 until police raided its offices. Although many details of the case had previously been reported, Channel 10's use of CCTV footage from cameras secretly installed by the police before officers carried out the raid and details from a Red Book showing the names of some of the diamantaires said to have used the bank's services are likely to have made a particularly strong impression on viewers.
In elections for the presidency and board of directors of the exchange that are held every two years, 1,886 members voted. Dvash received 1,080 votes while the other candidate, Arnon Yuval received 716 votes.
Members of the Israel Diamond Exchange will be voting for a new president today following the decision of Shmuel Schnitzer to stand down. The two candidates for president are Yoram Dvash and Arnon Yuval. Elections will also be held at the bourse's 66th annual general meeting for directors.
The "Market Comments" from Rapaport News cites improvement in polished trading across all major markets this week as the holiday season sparks demand. Limited supplies are generally supporting prices, and not surprisingly, RN mentions the issue of "De Beers overpriced rough" several times. Comments of note include: United States: "Shortages limiting pre-Christmas transactions as dealers struggle to replace shrinking inventories. The market is still tough ...
Meir Ohana convicted of whitewashing checks and creating fictitious accounts as well as moving cash abroad under the cover of importing diamonds without reporting any of it to the tax authorities. The business is estimated to have dealt with at least $100 million of business. In addition to the 10-year sentence, Ohana will also serve a two-year term on probation and pay a fine of one million shekels ($260,000).
Noga Raved, the curator of the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum in Israel, provides an explanation of how the opening of the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun sparked the development of the art deco movement in jewelry.
Prof. Dan Shechtman, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2011, is to be the guest of honor at the winter edition of the International Diamond Week at the Israel Diamond Exchange which will take place from February 14-18, 2016.
Rough diamond prices are undoubtedly much too high and manufacturers are struggling to sell polished as buyers are unwilling to pay, writes Vinod Kuriyan. This is mainly due to diamond miners being concerned only with their bottom lines and has weakened and destabilized the diamond production pipeline. But calls for an immediate reduction of 30 and 50 percent in rough prices is "a hasty, unthought-out and counterproductive step. It will immediately result in huge losses for the diamond processing industry running into the billions of dollars.
Private equity fund Blackstone has bought Diamonds Direct which opened its first operation in the United States in 1995, and now has seven locations in America selling diamonds directly to the end customer from a manufacturing facility in Israel. The acquisition follows Blackstone's purchase of a stake in mining firm Stornoway Diamonds and a minority ownership interest in the Renard diamond project.
Shmuel Schnitzer, the President of the Israel Diamond Exchange for the past two years, and who previously served as president from 1998 to 2004, will not be a candidate for the December elections for President of the exchange, according to a spokesperson for the bourse. The election will be contested by Yoram Dvash, owner of Yoram Dvash Diamonds, and Arnon Yuval, a partner at S. Yuval & Co. Both currently serve on the IDE’s executive committee.
Israel’s Sarine Technologies, a diamond manufacturing equipment maker, reported that revenue more than halved in the third quarter, with losses incurred stated at $1.4 million, compared with a profit of $5.7 million a year ago. The company's statement claims that their "significantly impaired" business activity, decrease in overall revenues and decline in profitability "were due to continued negative conditions in the midstream of the diamond industry driven by: disproportionately high rough diamond prices compared to polished diamond prices; high polished inventory levels resulting in sign
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will be holding seminars at the Israel Diamond Exchange next week aimed at improving understanding and knowledge about treatments and synthetics. The speakers at the seminars will be Dr. James Shigley and Brenda Harwick.
From their weekly snippets of industry sentiment across the major markets, Rapaport News writes that India is seeing steady trading activity with buyers looking for goods before next week’s Diwali break, there is steady demand from U.S. and slight improvement in China/Hong Kong orders. Meanwhile rough demand is weak as manufacturing activity remains low. Many factories will be closing early for the festival. Elsewhere, shortages of the finest select goods are helping to stabilize the market with improvement in U.S. memo demand as holiday season approaches.
Hong Kong, the gateway to the huge Chinese market, saw a drop of 10 percent on the year in polished diamond imports to $13.5 billion in the first nine months of 2015, according to data from the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong cited by Rapaport. There was also a decline of 12 percent in volume terms to 14.2 million carats. Israel saw the sharpest fall in its exports to Hong Kong – down 25 percent to $1.6 billion – while those from India decreased by 12 percent to $5.7 billion. Meanwhile, exports from Belgium declined by just 4 percent to $1.6 billion.
Israel’s exports of polished diamonds fell 21 percent on the year to $3.9 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Polished exports to the United States, Israel's largest export destination, slumped by 20 percent to $1.5 billion, while Hong Kong dropped 26 percent to $1.1 billion, and Belgium was down 16 percent to $351.6 million. Meanwhile, polished exports to Switzerland declined by 4 percent to $295.9 million while those to France plunged 44 percent to $77.2 million.
Members of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York, the Antwerp Diamond Bourse and the Bharat Diamond Bourse of Mumbai will be taking part in the event in the trading hall of the Israel Diamond Exchange.
Israel’s Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum in Ramat Gan is to put on an exhibition of rare Egyptian scarabs. “The exhibition, entitled Protective Force: Egyptian Scarabs from Gemstones, will explore the significant role of gemstones in ancient Egyptian culture as well as the fascination with scarabs throughout history,” Israel Diamond Institute said a media release. The scarabs are set with a variety of gemstones, some of which have inscriptions engraved on them and also has Victorian jewelry pieces set with scarabs.
Fancy color diamond prices are holding steady ahead of the holiday season, according to the Fancy Color Diamond Index, with prices remaining stable during the third quarter "at a time when white diamond prices showed declines of 6-10 percent", according to a press statement from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).
China faces the prospect of not reaching its annual growth forecast of 7 percent after its manufacturing sector unexpectedly declined for the third month in a row in October, while the services sector expanded at the slowest pace since the financial crisis of 2008. The latest figures suggest that China's growth is unlikely to improve upon the 6.9 percent annual rate seen in the third quarter of the year unless there is a substantial rebound in the coming two months.
After the longest quarterly drop in at least a decade, diamond prices are likely close to a bottom as the holiday buying season comes up, said Petra Diamonds' CEO Johan Dippenaar. “If this is not the floor in diamond pricing we are very close to it,” he told Bloomberg. “We are approaching the major selling period in our industry. While I’m not predicting a ravingly good year, it is a solid period. That should see the pipeline clear out.”
In what is a first for the firm, De Beers will allow its sightholders to turn down their entire November allocations until December in recognition of the intense pressure under which diamond manufacturers are working die to the soft condition of the market. “Further to discussions with several of you following recent cutting center visits, we are writing to provide an overview of some of the additional flexibility we will be putting in place for sights 9 and 10,” the company said in a note to sightholders obtained by Rapaport News.
With the serving of charges relating to five diamantaires in Tel Aviv in the case of a so-called 'Underground Bank' at the Israel Diamond Exchange which operated between 2005 and 2011, full details have come to light about the scale of its operations and the dark areas in which much trade takes place away from the eyes of the tax authorities, according to the Globes financial daily.
Searching the Rapaport Market Comments (MC) for indicators as we approach the crucial diamond purchasing season, it appears that the best prospects are on the American market, with the De Beers-Signet “Ever Us” two-stone marketing campaign apparently generating early enthusiasm.
The Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) has begun a series of conferences around the world aimed at increasing consumer awareness about diamonds. The events began in New York on October 2 before moving to Mumbai on October 8. They will cover the topics of rarity and value and natural pink diamonds and will continue with a conference at the Israel Diamond Institute in Ramat Gan next month. Further meetings are planned for Australia, London, Hong Kong and Antwerp, and subjects that will be discussed include natural versus synthetic diamonds and retailing with color.
The appropriately named Meteor system increases the speed of scanning inclusion mapping for small diamonds to 220 stones per day, Sarine Technologies announced. The new system aims to provide “faster, cost-effective” inclusion mapping for rough diamonds weighing between 0.25 and 0.85 carats.