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WFDB President lauds Penny’s contributions
Hopes Sightholder system will continue
By: Diamond World News Service
Jul 30 2010 4:34PM
Reference: 5176  


Avi Paz, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has commended the role that Gareth Penny, who recently resigned as CEO of De Beers, played in the rough diamond market, particularly during the crisis of the past 18 months and expressed thanks on behalf of the trade for the “very significant contribution” he made to the well being and advancement of the industry.

Paz said, “His unique skills were particularly evident during the time of the global economic downturn” and attributed much of the current recovery in the industry to “Mr. Penny's leadership and professional contribution.” Paz added that “He was quick to respond to the abrupt changes in a responsible and professional manner and ensured that De Beers' policies were in sync with the entire diamond industry."

Speaking on the tender system of selling rough diamonds, Paz noted that "We are very much against the use of tenders in selling rough diamonds because we believe tenders are bad for the industry and create an imbalanced situation.” He further said, “I hope and trust that the De Beers sightholder system will be continued successfully under the new management and call upon all the other large diamond producers to follow the steps of De Beers and abandon the tender system."

The secondary diamond market, according to Paz also benefitted from Penny’s direction, "I hope De Beers will continue to increase the allocation of rough diamond supplies to manufacturers and traders in what we call the secondary market, meaning those companies that are not part of the sightholder or preferred client lists. Large firms, together with medium-sized and small companies make up the strong fabric of our fascinating industry and the WFDB is committed to protecting that unique industry make-up, also in the future.”

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