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De Beers bullish about diamond sales as it heads to Hong Kong

Feb 28 2017 13:25
Lameez Omarjee
Rough diamonds and diamond sorting  or grading at

Rough diamonds and diamond sorting or grading at the Harry Oppenheimer House in Kimberley, South Africa. (Vismedia)

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ANGLO AMERICAN PLC [JSE:AGL]

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Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Johannesburg – De Beers remains positive about sales of its diamonds as it prepares to go to the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show this week.

The world's leading diamond company said in a statement on Tuesday, rough diamond sales for De Beers amounted to $545m (R7bn) for the second sales cycle of 2017.  

The provisional figures are down from the actual sales figure of $729m (R9.4bn) from January.

CEO Bruce Cleaver said that the figures were in line with market expectations. "We continued to see good demand across our product range in the second sales cycle, which was in line with expectations at this time of year.”

He added that the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show would be an “important barometer of trade confidence”.

READ: De Beers has biggest diamond sale in a year as buyers return

The diamond producer, which is owned by Anglo American, said earlier this year it was optimistic about growing demand following its “biggest sale” in January this year.

The uptick also reflects recovery in India, where trade buyers handle as much as 90% of the world’s rough diamonds.

Sales in India took a knock late last year following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fight against “black money”.  India’s government invalidated existing 500-rupee ($7.41) and 1 000-rupee bank notes.

ALSO READ: De Beers: Diamond sales hurt by India's money crackdown

As a result, at the company's 10th and final cycle last year, De Beer’s reported its lowest sale value of $418m (R5.4bn). This was down from $476m (R6.1bn) reported in the previous cycle.

Anglo American’s shares were trading at R201.26 at 12:25 on the JSE.

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