— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on July 1, Wednesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
Although the 80-billion-dollar overall spent on diamond jewelry last year hit a historical record, manufacturers are expected to share a profit of JUST $100 million this year.
According to Chaim Even-Zohar of Tacy Ltd and Pranay Narvekar of Pharos Beam in Mumbai, that number is half last year's total and down from $900 million in 2010.
Even-Zohar estimated that 300,000 Chinese and Indian workers had been laid off out of nearly 1 million employed in gemcutting in those two countries, where most manufacturing takes place.
Production in 2013 was down 26 percent since 2005, although estimates suggest it has risen slightly since.
De Beers has already reduced its output forecast for 2015 because of weaker demand. Alrosa's prices have fallen 6 percent this year.
Alrosa President Andrey Zharkov told Reuters the price drop "will help the manufacturers have enough oxygen in order to generate profits and keep consuming".
But now, we are about to have a new way to look at diamonds.
Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange Pte Ltd ("SDiX", or the "Exchange"), founded by Alain Vandenborre with a team of seasoned professionals in financial stock and commodity markets: Linus Koh, Latika Kundu Lai Eng Keat, and supported by Jim Rogers and Hsieh Fu Hua as angel investors, will allow the trading of diamonds globally, from any location in the world.
[Alain Vandenborre, Founder, Singapore Diamond Exchange] "Currently, if you compare gold as an asset investment class, which captured about 10% of the global market, only 5% of diamond, investment grade diamonds, are invested by financial investors. What we are doing is that we bring the financial markets, the commodity markets, financial traders, liquidity investors to trade diamond as a commodity."
Headquartered in Singapore, SDiX will be the world's first commodities exchange in physically settled diamonds. Its founder says that the exchange is bringing technology to the diamond market, creating a price discovery mechanism where diamonds can be traded as a new asset class.
Diamonds traded on SDiX are professionally graded and certified by GIA.
Wholly independent from the diamond industry, the Exchange establishes its Rules based on the best practices and market regulations of the securities and commodities market" The SDiX trading platform provides a fair, orderly, transparent and regulated marketplace for traders and accredited investors to acquire polished diamonds at market prices driven by real time transactional data.
[Alain Vandenborre, Founder, Singapore Diamond Exchange] "And once you have the financial market in commodity traders having the confidence that they are trading in the regulated, fair market, that 22 billion will multiple a couple of times. So the market will easily go for 22 billion more, to 100 billion, in a matter of 2 years."
And this might bring a new life to the weakening diamond industry.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.
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