The UAE is also making efforts to have Partnership Africa Canada rejoin the process after civil society groups withdrew from the KP in protest at the UAE's election as 2016 Chair, Dubai Diamond Exchange Chairman Peter Meeus tells IDEX Online. "Their non-participation in the Kimberley Process in 2016 under UAE’s chairmanship is a source of deep regret. We have now reached the point where the World Diamond Council (WDC) has agreed to mediate the matter between the two sides.
Kimberley Process Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has warned of the ongoing difficulties facing the global diamond industry and expressed the UAE's commitment to act responsibly to overcome challenges. “2016 will be a challenging year for our industry with continuing oversupply, low commodity prices and tightening liquidity," said Bin Sulayem. "The social impact of these combining factors is likely to be severe and felt across large parts of the world's diamond producing regions.”
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) will hold its 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai from May 16 to 19, and has identified transparency, responsibility and sustainability as the key themes of the meeting.
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.
French luxury diamond brand, Korloff Paris, has unveiled what it calls the world’s largest black diamond in Dubai. The diamond weighed 421 carats as a rough stone but has been cut and polished into an 88-carat gem. Korloff Paris, founded by the firm’s CEO – French jeweler Daniel Paillasseur – said the diamond is insured for $37 million.
Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, has been appointed by the UAE's Ministry of Economy as the chairman of the Kimberley Process which the UAE will chair in 2016. “The UAE will use this opportunity to focus on areas that will have the greatest impact on growth and development, in addition to sustaining the core values of the organization,” he told The National. He added that he would have an “open door” for organizations that have threatened to boycott the KP proceedings in Dubai.
Yesterday, the Civil Society Coalition announced at the KP Plenary meeting in Angola that it will boycott the KP next year in protest at the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) 2016 chairmanship due to, "widespread concerns over UAE's lenient standards and antagonistic relationship with the Coalition." Partnership Africa Canada 's (PAC) Director of Research, Alan Martin, said: "We have been calling on Dubai to change its harmful diamond trading practices.
The owner of Atlas Jewellery has been sentenced to three years behind bars for issuing two bounced checks worth a total of Dh34 million ($9.25 million) to a local bank, a Dubai court ruled. M.M. Ramachandran, a 73-year-old Indian businessman, had issued the two checks worth Dh4 million and Dh30 million to the bank for commercial purposes.
The United Arab Emirates mourn the death of Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who died on Saturday morning of a heart attack at age 33. Sheikh Rashid was born in Dubai and educated at the Rashid School for Boys, then attended Sandhurst Military Academy in the UK, graduating from there in 2002. He was an active member of Dubai Cares philanthropic organisation and a well-known sports figure.
The UAE has been formally announced as the Kimberley Process vice-chair, meaning it will assume the lead in 2016. UAE will become the 14th country to take on the annual role since the body’s foundation in 2003, and is the first Arab country to become the KP vice-chair. “[We plan] to work together on the growth and reach of the Kimberley Process while consolidating the achievements of the past 12 years – bringing to an end the flow of conflict diamonds globally,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) today presented the 'Burj2020 District' concept, a mixed-use urban center, a project in south Dubai that includes the Burj2020, the world's tallest commercial tower and 100,000m2 retail space that will serve the DMCC Freezone and surrounding areas.
Rob Bates of JCK lists the major stories from the diamond industry this summer, including several instances of undisclosed mixing of synthetic and treated diamonds as other dishonest practices leading to suspensions and publicly naming the companies involved. He also indicates the recent emergence of old unsightly reports of fraud and conflict diamonds, all of which are harmful to the industry.
The jewelry group in qustion has been identified as Atlas Jewellery and the missing owner as Indian businessman Atlas Ramachandran. Ramachandran and his daughter Manju have been reportedly arrested by Dubai police after a number of banks lodged complaints over bounced cheques.
Investigators working to identify notrious crime syndicate don Dawood Ibrahim's offshore assets have learned that the fugitive is now in the business of conflict diamonds. In a bid to freeze Dawood's assets and block his operations, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had tasked intelligence agencies to pinpoint the don's businesses. They found that the current focus of the D Company, as Dawood's businesses are called, is to promote and expand the business of conflict diamonds in Africa and Dubai.
Stock prices in Gulf states nosedived on Sunday in a massive market sell-off sparked by descending oil prices, with the Saudi and Dubai bourses leading the slide. Credit ratings agency Fitch also cut its outlook for Saudi Arabia. The Dubai Financial Market fell almost seven per cent to 3,451.48 points, while Saudi Arabia's benchmark exchange was also down seven per cent to 7,441.33 points. This week, fears around a China-led global economic slowdown ripped through international markets with shares in Europe, London and New York all suffering.
In a new report, Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) examines the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) gold sector in the Great Lakes (ICGLR) region, analysing both its size and the extent to which ASM gold produced in the region is smuggled either across local borders or out the region completely. The study notes the extent to which cross-border movement of gold within the ICGLR region now pales in comparison to the volume of ASM gold that is smuggled out of the region and exported illegally, principally to the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai’s diamond market has been hit by a global downturn, with prices falling by as much as 25.8% in the past year, according to the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI). The price of 1-carat laboratory-graded diamonds has declined 15.3% since July last year, including 0.9% in June, according to the index. Diamonds of 0.3-carat have fallen the most, losing 10.6% so far this year and 25.8% in the past 12 months. The popular stone has been trading at “steep discounts”, RAPI said, contributing the loss to “relatively quiet” demand in the US and “cautious” demand in the Far East.
In his latest blog, Rob Bates takes stock of who will be the next KP Chair. The United Arab Emirate's bid was and is much contested by NGO's, Bates says, but it appears Dubai will assume the chairmanship next year - if Dubai agrees to certain conditions - after Australia backed out at the recent KP Intersessional in Luanda, Angola.
Members of the Kimberley Process were apparently unable to make progress in reaching a consensus decision at the organization's Intersessional meeting in Luanda. The vote on whether Australia or the United Arab Emirates should be elected the deputy chair has been postponed to the Plenary meeting to be held towards the end of this year, said World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher.
The impasse regarding the second most important post of the Kimberley Process, whose vice presidency is being disputed by Australia and Dubai still remains without a sign of consensus. In this context, the chairman of the Kimberley process, Bernardo Campos, explained that Australia will deliver a statement in the meeting, which may put an end to the impasse.
Dutch bank ABN Amro has fired a seventh employee at its Dubai private banking desk following an internal probe into irregularities. Six bankers were sacked in January for failing to comply with internal codes of conduct by enabling clients - mainly Indian private banking clients - to use their personal accounts for illicit business transactions. The Financieele Dagblad said at the time this enabled the clients to use private banking accounts to carry out transactions which should have fallen under a much stricter compliance regime.
Kimberley Process (KP) Chair Angola is preparing to host the organization’s intersessional meeting which starts on Monday and runs until June 26. The meeting will bring together more than 200 delegates from 54 members representing 81 countries to debate its activities since the plenary meeting held in China last November 2014 and to discuss subjects for the plenary session due to be held in Luanda in November.
A CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI) took millions of dollars by using the gem authenticator as his "personal piggy bank," a major shareholder claims in court. Vazon Investments sued IGI and its co-CEOs Roland Lorié and Jerry Ehrenwald in New York County Supreme Court. "Lorié even admitted to having stolen more than $7.1 million from the IGI Group," the complaint states. Lorié repaid the money, but another owner of IGI, Marc Brauner, who owns 40 percent of IGI's shares, discovered other suspicious transfers authorized by Lorié.
Zimbabwean state-owned newspaper The Sunday Mail claims the US and Australia are conspiring with NGO’s and local opposition members against Zimbabwe, which they attribute to Zimbabwe’s support for the United Arab Emirates’ candidacy, challenging the Australian bid, as Vice-Chair of the Kimberley Process. The newspaper claims Washington is behind “exaggerated” and “falsified” reports on illicit diamond trading in Chiadzwa, trying to destabilize the country “by sponsoring activists to pose as illegal vendors” and other “smear campaigns” that claim the country is in deep crisis .
Excerpts from a Rapaport interview with Davy Blommaert, former business developer at Antwerp Diamond Bank and currently head of the diamond lending segment of the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The bank intends to enter into diamond lending in the hopes that a perceived "geological shift" in the diamond trade will lead to more diamond business coming to Dubai, but there are caveats.
The luxury guitar created by UAE firm Lifestyle Jewellery sets a new Guinness World Record for the world’s most valuable coronet diamond guitar. Called the Eden of Coronet, the guitar is set with more than 400 carats of diamonds set in 1.6kgs of 18K gold.
The Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai’s hub for the trade in and finance of commodities ranging from gold and diamonds to tea and spices, is on schedule to meet the deadline for conducting all its business online. The initiative is part of a plan to conduct the whole of the business of Dubai government departments and authorities electronically. Ahmed bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of the DMCC, says that diamonds are a key component to its expansion ambitions.
Stellar Diamonds said its next diamond sale of up to 4,439 carats from trial mining, including gem quality stones up to 12.6cts in size, of its Baoule kimberlite project in the Aredor area of Guinea will take place in Dubai and Antwerp via the eDiamond auction platform during May. The goods will be available to view in the offices of eDiamond in Dubai from the 10 to 13 May and in Antwerp from the 18 to 25 May with the auction expected to close at the end of May 2015.
“The industry is in good shape and we can be proud of it and its participants. There are a few exceptions and as an industry we should purge those who tarnish our image. But those are the exceptions in an otherwise fantastic industry with a brilliant future.”
Edward Asscher, President World Diamond Council in his address at the Dubai Diamond Conference
In its first year, VicenzaOro Dubai (VOD)—organized by DV Global Link, a joint venture between Fiera and the Dubai World Trade Centre, which hosted the show—welcomed 500+ brands from more than 25 countries and more han 6,000 visitors from more than 110 countries. Next year's edition is scheduled to take place April 14-17, 2016.
The Dubai Diamond Exchange is allowing synthetic gems to be traded, making up a small percentage of the total, Chairman Peter Meeus said. There were 550 synthetic gems certified in Dubai so far this year, compared with 80 last year and none in 2013, Marc Brauner, co-chief executive officer of the International Gemological Institute said.
Finance and liquidity was one of the most hotly debated issues at the Dubai Diamond Conference 2015. The Dubai Diamond Exchange is consequently planning to hold three seminars on diamond financing this year, underscoring the growing importance of the issue for the global diamond industry.
Three leading UAE banks are backing Dubai’s ambition to become a global diamond trading centre. Emirates NBD, Mashreq and National Bank of Fujairah pledged to support the emirate’s growing diamond business at a conference in Dubai yesterday, with a multibillion dirham commitment to facilitate the purchase and sale of diamonds.
"Represented by approximately 700 licenced diamond companies, Dubai’s turnover in 2014 was approximately $30 billion, meaning that Dubai is basically in the top three of the world trade centres of diamonds alongside Antwerp ($58.8 billion) and Mumbai. The Gulf currently represents nine per cent of the world’s consumption, meaning the regional diamond market is currently worth $7.2 billion,”
Peter Meeus, chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange in an interview with Kipp.
Vice President of ALROSA Andrei Polyakov said on Tuesday that the company aims to be present in all of the world's diamond centers, and Dubai is one of the world's major diamond hubs and the largest market for raw materials. Russian diamond company ALROSA is interested in Dubai trade due to its proximity to the Indian market. "Almost half of all rough diamonds which ALROSA produces are acquired by Indian capital, irrespective of where the company is registered," he said.
The diamond industry has a few years to prepare for the next 50 years, said Paul Rowley, De Beers’ Executive Vice President of Global Sightholder Sales, today. Speaking at the Dubai Diamond Conference, he said, "We must all invest now to increase our future returns."
The full transcript of the speech is available here.
The United Arab Emirates is considered one of the most stable countries in the Middle East, with an international reputation as a business centre and tourist destination. But behind the glitz and glamour it tolerates no dissent, Gulf expert Christopher Davidson writes.
The second Dubai Diamond Conference, taking place April 21 and 22, will highlight the issue of ethical business behavior -- one of the most pressing issues affecting the global diamond trade. The topic will be the focus of a special panel where NGOs and businesses will address increased interest in the issue of "conflict diamonds" and sustainable development.
Bloomberg Business Week Middle East takes an in-depth look at Dubai's rising importance in the global diamond industry, interviewing Peter Meeus, Dubai Diamond Exchange chairman, who says Dubai's ideal geographical position connecting East with West, the attractive tax and investment climate, and recent entry of local banks into diamond industry financing are the key drivers for Dubai's growth.
The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), today announced that leading mining executives from De Beers Group, ALROSA and Endiama will be presenting at the second Dubai Diamond Conference. The conference will host leading executives from De Beers, ALROSA and Endiama to discuss the trading shift from the west to Africa and Asia.