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WFDB to Fund Get Diamonds Trading Platform

Apr 6, 2020 8:12 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has adopted Get Diamonds as its official trading platform, the organization’s president Ernie Blom told Rapaport News.

The WFDB’s executive committee agreed in a Zoom meeting on Sunday night to support the platform, which until now has been run by the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE). That includes funding its development and preparing a business model to sustain it, Blom said.

Eventually there will be a charge, although a fee for suppliers and buyers has not yet been determined, he explained. The WFDB is setting up a committee to oversee the project.

The platform has been the focal point of the federation’s response to the dramatic economic slowdown experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this scenario, all of us must try our utmost to be innovative so that some semblance of business continues to take place,” Blom said in a March 18 press release. “We are fortunate that both e-commerce and digital platforms have developed to quite an extent; they can be the vehicles for business in these times of social distancing.”

There has been a sharp rise in suppliers moving to online selling in the past month as bourse trading floors and businesses closed during the coronavirus outbreak. A number of other platforms are in development or expanding their services to accommodate the move, Blom noted.

Many suppliers moved their stock to Get Diamonds in a protest against Rapaport Group, publisher of the Rapaport Price List — and parent company of the RapNet trading network and the news portal — after the group lowered prices by an average of 7% on its March 20 price list.

“The price reductions of the Rapaport Price List on March 20 upset many in the trade. Unfortunately, a highly volatile global economic crisis set the stage for lower prices with severe declines in early March,” explained Martin Rapaport, the group’s chairman, in a recent webinar. “Many suppliers demanded that we recall the March 20 price list out of a desire to prevent a loss of confidence in the trade and maintain the illusion that prices have not declined. Unfortunately, we could not do this because prices had in fact declined. Furthermore, discounts had grown to unprecedented levels that threatened the honesty of the Rapaport Price List.”

Blom observed that there were some buyers in the market, even in these trying times, although activity was limited and there was a wider gap between suppliers’ asking prices and offers by buyers. “There is a lot of polished in the system and companies are trying to defend their price levels,” he noted. “We believe that people will have the urge to buy when the market returns to normal.”
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, diamonds, Ernie Blom, Get Diamonds, Martin Rapaport, Rapaport, RapNet, WFDB
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