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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

India’s demonetization dampened sales for the world’s biggest diamond producer

Bain & Co. predicts that by 2020, India will surpass Europe and Japan to become the world’s third-largest market for diamond jewelry, trailing only the US and China. But first, a speed-bump. De Beers, the world’s largest diamond supplier, reports that business has slowed since the Indian government pulled R500- and Rs1,000-denomination notes out of circulation. It’s another unintended effect of the demonetization, which is meant to weed out counterfeiting, tax evasion, and black-market activity. Anglo American, a majority stakeholder in De Beers, said that rough diamond sales in the final cycle of 2016—it divides the year into 10 sales cycles—amounted to $418 million, down from $476 million in the previous cycle. (That was still up from the final cycle of 2015, when a slowdown in China pinched sales.)

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