Diamond Prices Regain Their Sparkle
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,613,207 (-0.60%)       Melbourne $969,484 (-0.54%)       Brisbane $991,125 (-0.15%)       Adelaide $906,278 (+1.12%)       Perth $892,773 (+0.03%)       Hobart $726,294 (-0.04%)       Darwin $657,141 (-1.18%)       Canberra $1,003,818 (-0.83%)       National $1,045,092 (-0.37%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $754,460 (+0.43%)       Melbourne $495,941 (+0.11%)       Brisbane $587,365 (+0.63%)       Adelaide $442,425 (-2.43%)       Perth $461,417 (+0.53%)       Hobart $511,031 (+0.36%)       Darwin $373,250 (+2.98%)       Canberra $492,184 (-1.10%)       National $537,029 (+0.15%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,787 (-116)       Melbourne 14,236 (+55)       Brisbane 8,139 (+64)       Adelaide 2,166 (-18)       Perth 5,782 (+59)       Hobart 1,221 (+5)       Darwin 279 (+4)       Canberra 924 (+36)       National 42,534 (+89)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,638 (-81)       Melbourne 8,327 (-30)       Brisbane 1,728 (-19)       Adelaide 415 (+10)       Perth 1,444 (+2)       Hobart 201 (-10)       Darwin 392 (-7)       Canberra 1,004 (-14)       National 22,149 (-149)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 (+$20)       Melbourne $620 ($0)       Brisbane $630 (-$5)       Adelaide $615 (+$5)       Perth $675 ($0)       Hobart $560 (+$10)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $670 (+$4)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $630 (+$5)       Adelaide $505 (-$5)       Perth $620 (-$10)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $580 (+$20)       Canberra $550 ($0)       National $597 (-$)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,197 (+313)       Melbourne 6,580 (-5)       Brisbane 4,403 (-85)       Adelaide 1,545 (-44)       Perth 2,951 (+71)       Hobart 398 (-13)       Darwin 97 (+4)       Canberra 643 (+11)       National 22,814 (+252)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,884 (-22)       Melbourne 6,312 (0)       Brisbane 2,285 (-54)       Adelaide 357 (-14)       Perth 783 (-14)       Hobart 129 (-14)       Darwin 132 (+6)       Canberra 831 (+15)       National 21,713 (-97)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.64% (↑)      Melbourne 3.33% (↑)        Brisbane 3.31% (↓)       Adelaide 3.53% (↓)       Perth 3.93% (↓)     Hobart 4.01% (↑)      Darwin 5.54% (↑)      Canberra 3.52% (↑)      National 3.34% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.17% (↓)       Melbourne 6.19% (↓)     Brisbane 5.58% (↑)      Adelaide 5.94% (↑)        Perth 6.99% (↓)       Hobart 4.68% (↓)     Darwin 8.08% (↑)      Canberra 5.81% (↑)        National 5.78% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 29.8 (↓)     Melbourne 31.7 (↑)      Brisbane 30.6 (↑)        Adelaide 25.2 (↓)       Perth 35.2 (↓)     Hobart 35.1 (↑)      Darwin 44.2 (↑)        Canberra 31.5 (↓)     National 32.9 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 29.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.5 (↓)     Brisbane 27.8 (↑)        Adelaide 22.8 (↓)     Perth 38.4 (↑)        Hobart 37.5 (↓)       Darwin 37.3 (↓)       Canberra 40.5 (↓)       National 33.1 (↓)           
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Diamond Prices Regain Their Sparkle

Pent-up jewellery demand has lifted the gems’ valuations while online sales have grown.

By Will Horner
Fri, Feb 12, 2021 5:32amGrey Clock 3 min

Diamond prices have rebounded from a coronavirus-driven slump thanks to the reopening of some economies in Asia and strong jewellery sales around the world over the holiday period.

Polished diamond prices are up 5.1% from their lowest point in March, putting them at their highest level in nearly a year and a half, according to a gauge compiled by the International Diamond Exchange.

The pandemic dealt a big blow to the diamond industry last year, with every link in the supply chain—from Russian miners to India’s diamond cutters to luxury boutiques in New York—being closed or seeing activity curtailed.

But demand for diamond jewellery has been steadily recovering since retailers began reopening last summer in Asia, tentatively followed by elsewhere in the world, analysts said. With international vacations on ice and restaurants in many parts of the world still closed, wealthy individuals are buying diamonds with surprising voracity.

“This is the most bullish market for diamonds I have seen in probably a decade,” said Paul Zimnisky, founder of research firm Diamond Analytics.

Because diamonds come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and qualities, the industry lacks a benchmark price. But market watchers say both rough, mined diamonds and polished stones bought by consumers have seen their prices approach pre-pandemic levels.

A one-carat polished diamond of slightly above-average quality currently sells for US$5,900, Mr Zimnisky said. That is up 14% from a low point in April, while an equivalent rough diamond rose 18% in that time, he said.

Prices popped in December, thanks to strong holiday sales and pent-up demand that built during lockdowns. December is typically a strong time, with jewellery sales normally rising around 120% from November, said Edahn Golan, who runs an Israel-based diamond-market research firm. This year they jumped 160%, he said.

Still, the pandemic’s impact on jewellery sales hasn’t been uniform. Sales of diamond stud earrings saw the largest year-over-year growth of all jewellery categories in 2020, Mr Golan said, as the desire to look good in video calls boosted demand for adornments worn from the shoulders up.

The pandemic also pushed the industry to embrace new technology at a faster rate. Before lockdowns, retailers were sceptical that consumers would be prepared to buy expensive diamonds online. But strong take-up for internet offerings has helped diamond sales recover while modernizing some businesses.

“It has forced our industry to go to a place that we have been slow to get to,” said David Kellie, CEO of the Natural Diamond Council.

The diamond market has fewer gauges of global demand than other, more widely traded commodities, presenting special challenges for analysts.

Google searches for “diamond ring” in the U.S., the country that accounts for around 50% of the world’s diamond consumption, can be a good proxy, said Kirill Chuyko, head of research and mining analyst at Russian brokerage BCS Global Markets. Searches for the term slumped in March but have since recovered to prior levels.

With central banks slashing interest rates to stimulate economies—and some taking rates into negative territory—diamonds are also getting a lift as wealthy individuals opt to put their money into real assets rather than pay a bank to hold it.

Amma Group, an investment house specializing in coloured diamonds, has seen an increase in the number of its clients who would rather take their earnings in the form of physical diamonds than in cash, to protect their wealth from negative interest rates, said Mahyar Makhzani, the group’s co-founder.

The group, which is set to launch its fifth fund later this year, pools investors’ money to buy some of the rarest coloured diamonds at auctions or from individuals and miners. It then holds or sells the diamonds for a higher price, using the profits to buy other stones that it predicts will go up in value. After a set period, the fund sells its diamonds and returns the money to investors.

“There are not more than 100 red diamonds in the world,” Mr Makhzani said. “It’s like owning a Picasso: You know he isn’t going to be making any more.”

Rising demand has also allowed diamond miners to raise prices on the rough diamonds they sell to manufacturers. Russia’s Alrosa raised prices in January while Anglo American’s De Beers is widely believed to have raised its prices for the first time since the pandemic, analysts said. The company doesn’t publicly disclose its prices.

Despite the incentive, the diamond-mining giants are likely to keep supply tightly controlled to maintain higher prices, Mr Chuyko said.

The strength of diamond demand was a rare tailwind for luxury brands during a difficult 2020. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, which last month completed its acquisition of jeweller Tiffany & Co., said recently that jewellery sales were a bright spot in the fourth quarter. Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, which houses jewellery brands Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati, said jewellery sales were its best performing sector in the final three months of 2020.

Some analysts are sceptical, however, that diamond prices can keep rising. As economies reopen and international travel resumes, the diamond industry will face renewed competition, particularly among the younger consumers it has been seeking to attract, Mr Chuyko said.

“A diamond ring will get you one or two pictures on Instagram,” he said. “But if you go on holiday to Spain you might get 10 pictures per day.”



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Along with pay rates, the latest report from the ACSI shows bonuses are no longer based on exceptional results

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The CEOs of the ASX 200 were paid a little less in FY23 compared to the year before, but bonuses appear to have become the norm rather than a reward for outstanding results, according to the Australia Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). ACSI has released its 23rd annual report documenting the CEOs’ realised pay, which combines base salaries, bonuses and other incentives.

The highest-paid CEO among Australian-domiciled ASX 200 companies in FY23 was Greg Goodman of Goodman Group, with realised pay of $27.34 million. Goodman Group is the ASX 200’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) with a global portfolio of $80.5 billion in assets. The highest-paid CEO among foreign-domiciled ASX 200 companies was Mick Farrell of ResMed with realised pay of $47.58 million. ResMed manufactures CPAP machines to treat sleep apnoea.

The realised pay for the CEOs of the largest 100 companies by market capitalisation fell marginally from a median of $3.93 million in FY22 to $3.87 million in FY23. This is the lowest median in the 10 years since ACSI began basing its report on realised pay data. The median realised pay for the CEOs of the next largest 100 companies also fell from $2.1million to $1.95 million.

However, 192 of the ASX 200 CEOs took home a bonus, and Ed John, ACSI’s executive manager of stewardship, is concerned that bonuses are becoming “a given”.

“At a time when companies are focused on productivity and performance, it is critical that bonuses are only paid for exceptional outcomes,” Mr John said. He added that boards should set performance thresholds for CEO bonuses at appropriate levels.

ACSI said the slightly lower median realised pay of ASX 200 CEOs indicated greater scrutiny from shareholders was having an impact. There was a record 41 strike votes against executive pay at ASX 300 annual general meetings (AGMs) in 2023. This indicated an increasing number of shareholders were feeling unhappy with the executive pay levels at the companies in which they were invested.

A strike vote means 25 percent or more of shareholders voted against a company’s remuneration report. If a second strike vote is recorded at the next AGM, shareholders can vote to force the directors to stand for re-election.

10 highest-paid ASX 200 CEOs in FY23

1. Mick Farrell, ResMed, $47.58 million*
2. Robert Thomson, News Corporation, $41.53 million*
3. Greg Goodman, Goodman Group, $27.34 million
4. Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Group, $25.32 million
5. Mike Henry, BHP Group, $19.68 million
6. Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank, $10.52 million
7. Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto, $10.47 million
8. Rob Scott, Wesfarmers, $9.57 million
9. Ron Delia, Amcor, $9.33 million*
10. Colin Goldschmidt, Sonic Healthcare, $8.35 million

Source: ACSI. Foreign-domiciled ASX 200 companies*

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