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Weekly Market Report

DIAMOND MARKET OVERVIEW

There was optimism in the polished market, ahead of the Basel jewellery trade show. Traders said demand for large stones had picked up, which some attributed to dealers stocking up ahead of the Basel show.  Meanwhile, some Swiss watchmakers exhibiting at the Basel trade show said they expect the market to remain challenging this year with the US showing no signs of recovering. In the broader market, the main polishedprices index ended the week lower, opening at 116.00  on Friday from Monday’s opening at 117.72.

ROUGH MARKET

Demand for rough appears to be holding up well.  Alrosa’s sales this past week saw overall strong demand, despite the Russian state company increasing prices. “Rough (demand) is still very strong, Russian goods are most expensive,” said one trader in Antwerp, adding there were virtually no premiums on Russian goods sold in the secondary market.  De Beers is expected to hold a smaller sight this coming week, compared with the previous sale, which traders said is normal for this time of year. Sightholders are anticipating prices to be more or less in line with the previous sight.

CORPORATE AND EVENTS

Dominion Diamond Corp. shares surged 25 percent after billionaire Dennis Washington went public with a $1.1 billion offer for the Canadian company after weeks of private talks hit an impasse, Bloomberg reported. Closely held Washington Cos. made the proposal to acquire Toronto-based Dominion Diamond for $13.50 a share on Feb. 21. Dominion’s board has stalled on the offer, Washington Cos. said in a statement, according to the Bloomberg report.

De Beers Group announced that it has successfully concluded the purchase of LVMH’s 50 per cent shareholding in De Beers Diamond Jewellers to take full ownership of the company. De Beers Diamond Jewellers’ retail network comprises 32 stores in 17 key consumer markets around the world. This includes a growing business in greater China and with Chinese clients worldwide, an established presence in London and Paris, and a new flagship location in New York City.

Swiss watchmakers expect the market to stay challenging this year with the United States, their second-biggest market, showing no signs of recovering, executives told Reuters at an industry fair in Basel, Reuters reported. Swiss watchmakers are grappling with declining sales in their biggest markets -- Hong Kong and the United States -- and have been hit by tourist shoppers avoiding Europe for fear of extremist attacks, said the Reuters report.

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