Diamond market overview
Trading sentiment in the diamond markets remains positive. Overall, polished prices have strengthened since the start of the year. “Polished has strengthened, prices will probably slow in April, or maybe come down a bit,” one trader said, adding this was due to a seasonal slowdown. Meanwhile, the main polishedprices index ended the week traded in narrow ranges, opening at 117.95 on Friday, from Monday’s opening at 117.70.
Rough traders reported another week of healthy trading activity. “There is a healthy balance between rough and polished” one trader said. “Polished is moving well, the producers haven’t increased prices by too much and premiums (on rough boxes) are hovering around 2%,” he added. Meanwhile in India, news of a $1.8 billion fraud case allegedly related to two international diamond firms – Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems – rattled the Indian diamond market. “Sentiment has taken a knock from the Nirav Modi case,” said one trader in Mumbai, adding the case would have a negative impact on credit provided in the trade. Another trader said: “Liquidity in the industry has already tightened, the price of credit facilities by bank’s is likely to go up as they will charge more interest,” one trader said.
Corporate and events
Namdeb, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, has announced it is to seek a buyer for its Elizabeth Bay mine to secure its long-term future, miningreview.com reported. The mine was commissioned in 1991 and is located along the south-western coast of Namibia near the town Lüderitz, said the miningreview.com report. It employs around 160 people and produced around 200, 000 carats in 2017, it said.
Shares in Africa-focused Botswana Diamonds received a much-needed boost on Wednesday after the miner announced it had has raised £500,000 (about $695,060 at current rates) to fund ongoing exploration in South Africa and Botswana, mining.com reported. The company said the sum was collected through the issue of 50-million shares to new and existing investors at a price of 1p a share, the mining.com report said. Proceeds from the placing will fund ongoing diamond exploration in South Africa and Botswana, and will also provide the company with additional working capital, Botswana Diamonds said in the statement, according to the mining.com report.
State-owned lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) is at the centre of a $1.8 billion fraud – one of the largest to be detected across the Indian banking sector, Bloombergquint.com reported. In a statement issued to stock exchanges on Wednesday, PNB said that it has detected some “fraudulent and unauthorised transactions (messages)”, which it has reported to the authorities concerned. Based on these ‘transactions’, other banks appear to have advanced money to customers overseas, said the bank, according to the Bloombergquint.com report. The quantum of such transactions is $1.77 billion, the bank disclosed, said the Bloomberquint.com report. “The case relates to Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems,” said Rajiv Kumar, secretary for the government’s Department of Financial Services, according to the Bloombergquint.com report.