Russian diamond major eyes India expansion, forecasts abating fears

Russian diamond major eyes India expansion, forecasts abating fears

Mubasher: Russian diamond miner Alrosa is looking to bolster its position in the Indian market, The Economic Times (ET) has reported.

“Initially, we are setting up our base at Bharat Diamond Bourse and we will expand as our business grows in India. We will actively get involved with the industry in preventing synthetic diamonds from entering India,” Alrosa India’s director Jim Vimadalal told ET. 

He further revealed that his company was planning to launch its own diamonds brand specifically for the Indian market. This launch is scheduled for sometime in 2019 or 2020, Vimadalal added.

Alrosa accounts for around 30% of the world’s production of diamonds, while the Indian market makes up around 16% of the Russian company’s total diamond sales.

In 2017, the Mirny-based diamonds mining firm produced 39.6 million carats of rough diamonds.

On another note, Alrosa’s top official for the Indian unit said that April-July sales were expected to be lower than previous periods, but noted that he was confident sales would “bounce back.”

The Indian diamond market suffered fears lately after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scandal came back to focus in February and March. The PNB had filed a police complaint saying that it suspected two of its employees had carried out fraudulent jewellery-related practices.

In mid-February, India’s second largest state-owned lender revealed that the two employees had embezzled $1.77 billion, compared to initial estimates of around $43 million.

During the same month, after the PNB case resurfaced, exports of cut and polished diamonds from India fell 6.11% to 30.68 lakh carats, according to ET.

“Asked whether Alrosa has sought for presumptive tax structure with the government for trading of diamonds at the special notified zone (SNX) in Bharat Diamond Bourse, Vimadalal said a team from Alrosa has already made a presentation to the government,” the newspaper added.