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ALROSA Meets With Diamond Banks And Funds To Discuss Industry Developments

A delegation of ALROSA's management, led by CEO Sergey Ivanov, met with representatives of the industry's largest banks and non-bank financial institutions to discuss the latest trends and developments in the diamond industry as part of a workshop hosted by the company.

Delegates from the State Bank of India, NBF, ABN AMRO, and representatives of the DelGatto and Channel finance funds attended the event in Moscow on December 6.

"Changes in the rough and polished diamond industry reflect global transformations, ranging from shifts in consumer behaviour to tighter financing requirements," said Ivanov. "As part of the workshop staged by the company for the first time, we got together with representatives of the financial sector to discuss key factors behind the weaker diamond market environment in2019 and steps that need to be taken to shore up market stability in the long term.

"During the meeting, an exchange of opinions and experiences as part of an open dialogue generated many useful insights. With transparent operations of industry players being one of the key drivers behind market efficiency, we have decided to hold meetings with financial institutions on a regular basis."

ALROSA said the rough and polished diamond market is starting to show the first signs of stabilizing. In Q3 2019, global jewellery demand received a boost, for the first time in a year, primarily from US consumers. The company's data also shows that in October and November, prices for a variety of diamond products edged higher, with prospects for destocking now more visible. At the same time, participants expressed the belief that a more accurate assessment of the industry can only be made based on sales volumes in the festive season, as they will show if the current upward trend is here to stay.

The banks recognised the efficiency of the measures ALROSA has taken to support the market, above all the reduction volumes of diamond sales, the miner said. They believe that the "price over volume" strategy chosen by diamond producers has helped the cutting sector to "digest the overstocking" amid a funding crunch in the midstream segment in India, which is home to more than 90% of all cutters.

The participants also mentioned other support that ALROSA has provided to its customers this year, including the gradual lowering of the mandatory amount of rough diamonds required to be bought during a trading session. The banks say that the flexible customer approach also enables the market, and notably the midstream, to continue operating in a tough environment.

According to the workshop's participants, the existing turmoil helps to "sanitise" the market, pushing out players that never invested in business efficiency or resilience and prioritised short-term profits instead. The general opinion is that the midstream segment is forced into a transformation. Industry players need to evolve into more transparent and responsible businesses, as it will help them to secure bank loans, among other factors.

The banks also highlighted the importance of marketing initiatives, saying that market growth can only be driven by stronger consumer demand for diamond jewellery.