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Weekly Market Report

DIAMOND MARKET OVERVIEW

The Hong Kong trade fair started earlier in the week, with some traders reporting brisk traffic. Others said there was strong pressure from buyers at the fair to reduce prices. There was positive news from the Richemont Group, which reported strong sales, mainly driven by Asian markets. In the broader market, the main polishedprices index ended the week down, opening at 115.72 on Friday from Monday’s opening at 117.52.

ROUGH MARKET

Following the De Beers sight, most boxes were trading at losses. There we reportedly boxes trading at 15% below box price.  De Beers left prices more or less unchanged, but reduced volumes, making it the smallest sight or sale since the start of the year at $505 million.

CORPORATE AND EVENTS

Tanzania said it planned to nationalize diamonds whose value it put at $29.5 million belonging to a mine majority owned by London-listed Petra Diamonds after it accused the miner of under-declaring its mineral exports, Reuters reported. The diamonds were seized at the main airport in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam on Aug. 31 as they were being exported by Williamson Diamonds Ltd to Antwerp, Belgium, said the Reuters report. 

The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), a De Beers Group company, announced that the industry’s first synthetic screening device for set jewellery, SYNTHdetect, is now available for delivery. SYNTHdetect is the only synthetic screening device that has been designed specifically for jewellery retailers, allowing them to quickly and easily ensure the authenticity of the diamonds they purchase.

The world’s biggest diamond producer hired an external investigator to find the source of possible leaks of its most sensitive price data, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported. De Beers hired investigators from KPMG International in South Africa to find the source of the leaks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The company suspected at least one employee sold pricing information to customers before the diamonds were offered for purchase, the people said, according to the Bloomberg report.

Luxury-goods conglomerate Richemont, which has seen a 20% rise in its share price on the JSE over the past six months, enjoyed brisk sales growth in its key Pacific-Asia markets for the first five months of the year to end-March 2018, Business Day reported. Richemont’s total sales were up 12% at constant exchange rates and 10% at actual exchange rates, according to the Business Day report.

Tanzanian prosecutors charged two government officials on Friday with economic sabotage after they were accused of undervaluing an export-bound consignment of diamonds seized from a mine majority owned by London-listed Petra Diamonds, Reuters reported. Archard Kalugendo, director of the state-run diamond and gemstone valuation unit, and government gemstone valuer Edward Rweyemamu were jointly charged with being responsible for $1.1 million of lost tax revenue, said the Reuters report.

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