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Botswana Diamonds salutes JV partner Alrosa as ‘top’ targets drilling commences Sept
Botswana Diamonds said its Sunland joint venture with the Russian diamond giant, Alrosa is proving to be fruitful. Company chairperson John Teeling told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that their strategy in Orapa, Botswana would have been different had they not partnered with the Russians. He also said that apart from its partnership with Alrosa, Botswana Diamonds believed that it was operating in the right area. Teeling noted that they had “excellent” indications that there are undiscovered kimberlites in Orapa.

Diamonds as a Commodity? Not a Problem - Sians Mussa
sians_mussa_preview.jpgSians Mussa is President of the Italian Diamond Bourse. He began his career as diamond dealer in 1969. The Sians family has been active in the Diamond industry for 3 generations and has offices in Milan, Rome, Valenza, Tel Aviv and New York. President Sians currently works in his Italian office together with his two sons, David and Doni. President Sians discussed with Rough&Polished the role of diamond bourses, what diamond represents in modern society, and the status of the Italian jewellery industry.

What kind of impact may possible sanctions from U.S. and E.U. produce on jewelry community?
The diamond and jewelry industries have repeatedly been through various ordeals. So, should the Russian jewelers be fearful for their business in the light of recent events? And will the Russian diamond industry turn to be a winner in some way in case of sanctions on the part of Europe or America? Rough&Polished addressed these questions to the heads of diamond industry companies.

We need to have close relations with bigger mining companies to get enough and timely rough supply - Navrattan Kothari
navrattan_kothari_preview.jpgA highly respected businessman held in high esteem in the Indian gems and jewellery industry, Mr. Navrattan Kothari, Chairman, KGK Group of India, has steered the conglomerate for over 50 years, with the Group now having grown into a world-class business empire. Under his guidance, the KGK Group, besides its underlying operations, funds many programs through a trust that looks into education of the underprivileged and provides healthcare facilities. Here, Mr. Kothari speaks to Rough&Polished about his initiation into the family business and his perception of the gem and jewellery business in India and all over the world as well.



News

27.08.2014
Debswana prolongs lifespan of mines to 2050
Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government, has extended the lifespan of its mines in the southern African country to 2050. Company managing director Balisi Bonyongo was quoted by APA as saying that the extension would solidify Botswana’s position as the world’s leading diamond producer by value.

27.08.2014
Funds holding stakes in ALROSA did not support investments in Severalmaz
At the annual meeting of shareholders of ALROSA last June, the investment funds having interests in ALROSA voted against the additional RUB 16 billion issue of shares by Severalmaz, ALROSA’s subsidiary, in favor of the parent company, Finmarket reported. This was disclosed in the annual reports published by the SEC and submitted by some funds that became shareholders of ALROSA in the course of the IPO at the end of last year, or later.

27.08.2014
SA police swoop on illegal diamond dealers
South African police have arrested men who were part of a multinational syndicate allegedly engaged in illicit trading of diamonds across the country.



Cautious prognosis for diamond market after ‘good’ holiday season

30.01.2012

Rockwell Diamonds, which operates alluvial diamond mines in South Africa, said recently that anecdotal evidence suggests that diamond jewellery sales in the United States were better during the last Christmas season than the year before.

This, it said, is expected to assist in the liquidation of inventory with the resultant cash flow improvement rolling over into the January and February rough diamond purchasing period.

Rapaport Group also noted that confidence had improved in the diamond industry since January 1, following a period of relative price stability and a “satisfactory” United States holiday season.

Jewellery seller, Tiffany & Co said that worldwide Christmas-season sales rose 7 percent year on year to $952 million for the two months that ended on December 31.

It said retail sales rose 4 percent to $503 million across the Americas, which include the U.S., Canada and Latin America, while sales leaped 19 percent to $165 million in the Asia-Pacific.

Japan recorded a sales increase of 13 percent to $160 million, it said, adding that Europe sales improved by 1 percent to $117 million.

Rockwell expects diamond prices and demand to increase through the first half of 2012, while Rapaport cautioned that there were concerns whether current price levels were sustainable due to the adverse economic conditions.

The question, however, is whether the conditions that led to a dip in the diamond market during the second half of 2011 were still prevalent.

According to Rapaport the decline recorded during the second half of 2011 was influenced by increasing uncertainty caused by the U.S. and European economic crises, volatile financial, currency and commodity markets, as well as continued political instability in the Mideast.

It said tight liquidity, particularly in India, also impacted trading from July as manufacturers were unable to obtain replacement costs on the high rough prices they had paid earlier in the year.

Clearly, these factors are still prevalent and largely expected to continue influencing the market this year.

The World Bank recently slashed its global economic growth forecasts and warned that rich nations' debt problems may yet reap a crisis that would eclipse the tumult of 2008.

It noted that although the financial turmoil appeared contained at the moment, the risk of a much broader freezing up of capital markets and a global crisis similar in magnitude to the Lehman crisis remains.

It is such a gloomy picture that will largely affect the performance of the diamond market particularly, in the U.S and Europe.

However, this might not be the case in China and to some extend India, which saw its economic growth decelerate in part, last year, because of domestic policy tightening.

Diamonds.net said sentiment in the U.S about prospects for the coming months was mixed as it remains to be seen whether large retailers will build inventories at the same pace as last year.

It also said polished trading remains relatively slow in India due to weak domestic demand and caution by buyers about the general market.

Rough trading was slow but activity is expected to improve in the coming weeks as the January sight cycle begins.

“There is sufficient supply of goods in the market but very few transactions are taking place due to wide price differentials,” it said.

“Large manufactures have maintained their production levels while small and medium size cutters are operating at well below capacity.”

Chinese buyers on the other hand were currently focused on filling last-minute orders before the Chinese New Year begins on January 23, but a slowdown was expected in the coming weeks as the focus turns to the retail market, Diamonds.net said. 

By and large it appears the market will pick in some regions and slow in others.

However, with the economic uncertainty that characterized the better part of the second half of 2011 still hovering above the diamond market, despite good business recorded during the holiday season, it is tricky, as Rockwell Diamonds did, to conclude that all will be rosy during the first half of year.

Predicting the performance of the diamond market this year, especially at this stage is problematic; hence caution is the buzz word.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished

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