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Martin Rapaport Addresses Israel Diamond Week
February 12 2020

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Sahar, Kaufman Open U.S./Intl. Diamond Week, Rapaport Warns of Tight Liquidity

Mar 18, 2013 6:45 PM   By IDE
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Press Release:  Israel Diamond Exchange's (IDE) president Yair Sahar and the New York Diamond Dealers Club (DDC) president Reuven Kaufman performed an opening ceremony for the U.S./International Diamond Week today  on March 18.

With more than 1,000 people - both foreign buyers and Israeli diamond company representatives - on the floor of the trading hall in Ramat Gan, Sahar welcomed Kaufman and the delegation of buyers from the United States.

"Reuven Kaufman has become a partner of mine in the way we are leading the diamond industry in Israel and New York," said Sahar. "What started out as a sort of joke at a meeting in Dubai last October about how two presidents can create a win-win situation has become reality.

"What we are seeing is history. I believe we will have these events every year in Israel and New York, and possibly other countries as well."

Sahar said the IDE was looking into the possibility of expanding on the success of the show due to the evident interest shown by Israeli and foreign diamond companies. One possibility is to hold the event in Israel twice a year, and even a joint U.S.-Israel Diamond Week in China.

Meanwhile, Kaufman said that having traveled to many countries and given speeches across the world, he also prepared one for the opening ceremony at the IDE. "But when I got here and saw so many old friends, many of whom I did business with their fathers, I realized straight away that that I could not give a speech from a piece of paper. To family, you speak from the heart not from a piece of paper," he said to a rousing reception.

"We started this idea of a trading week in New York last December and we are continuing it here. Just look around and see how successful it is. The goal is not just this week in Israel or a week in New York, but to work together to show the U.S. and Israeli flags around the world and show that the diamond industry is still strong.

In addition to the 65 overseas buyers who registered beforehand for the event, a further 91 have also registered as of Monday morning, making a total of 154 so far.

The Israeli companies are offering more than $1 billion of polished diamonds for sale.

The largest number of buyers is from the U.S., while there are also buyers from the U.K., Belgium, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, Turkey, Japan, China, Spain, Canada, Russia and Switzerland.

The second day of the event was concluded by Rapaport Group chairman, Martin Rapaport, who gave a comprehensive review of the state of the global diamond markets, and how Israel and the U.S. can strengthen their positions.

He emphasized the growing demand in general for diamonds compared with the falling supply, and the increasing role of India and China as diamond consumers due to their expanding middle classes. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Europe were like "old people - they are well off and they already have diamonds, while Hong Kong and China and India are healthy and growing markets."

He said the price of rough was higher than that of polished due to easy credit facilities in India, the phenomenon of round-tripping, and irresponsible banks financing rough purchases. He warned diamantaires not to become hooked on bank loans since it was clear that interest rates, particularly in Europe, will eventually start rising.

"Expect bank liquidity to tighten up; expect volatile demand and prices; and expect rough diamond prices to continue being manipulated," Rapaport said. "Expect higher interest rates and tight money, don't manufacture unprofitable rough,  and support small businesses because they can bring about change, not large fat companies," were his parting words.

Rapaport News is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the content of any third-party press release. This is not a Rapaport Press Release. It has been provided as additional information for our clients.



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