The Argyle Group Look to Continue Expansion into Asia

Ever since our inception, one of the main goals for the Argyle Group was to target Asia-Pacific audiences where rare gems and diamonds are rapidly growing markets. This was one of the deciding factors in our decision to open our Singapore office in 2016.  Asia-Pacific has emerged as a key growth region for the jewellery and rare gem industry, registering one of the fastest regional growth rates in the world at 10 per cent. With the gold market experiencing a fair amount of volatility right now, rare gems are an increasingly attractive investment for investors looking to diversify their portfolio. Pink diamonds in particular, have experienced a massive growth in prices, rising by over 10% per annum. It is these figures that have inspired the Argyle Group’s plans to expand further into Asia over the coming months.

Meet and Greets

We are certainly not the first company to appeal to Asian audiences with jewellery house giants Christie’s and Auction pioneers Sotheby’s regularly hosting rare gem auctions in Hong Kong. As the aesthetic value of coloured diamonds continues to gain popularity, the Argyle group are keen to further expand into Asia and the Middle East with South East Asia a leading priority.

We are currently offering meet and greet appointments aimed specifically at Asian Investors. Simply let us know the city in which you would like to meet by filling out our quick sign-up form here, and we will arrange a time and a place that suits you. For more information on the Argyle Group and our Argyle bonds please visit our website at  www.theargylegroup.co.uk

Pink Diamonds Show Strongest Price Growth

Prices of pink fancy-color diamonds outperformed other major color categories during the second quarter, the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) said. 

Prices of pinks rose 0.4% quarter on quarter for the three months ending June 30, according to the FCRF, which released its quarterly Fancy Color Diamond Index (FCDI) last week. 

By contrast, prices of blue fancy-color diamonds declined 0.3% compared with the first quarter, while yellows slid 0.8%, the organization said. The overall index for fancy-color diamonds slipped 0.1%.

The fancy-vivid-pink category saw a price increase of 1.3%. Within that division, 2-carat fancy-vivid pinks rose 2.8%, while those weighing 3 carats climbed 2.6%. However, prices of 1-carat pink diamonds dropped 0.7%, with 1.5-carat stones falling 0.2%. 

The rise in pink prices is likely attributable to media coverage surrounding the upcoming closure of Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia, which is famous for its pink diamonds, noted Alan Bronstein, president of the Natural Color Diamond Association. 

While blue diamonds weighing between 1 and 3 carats saw increases, the overall price was dragged down by a 0.9% decline in the 8-to-10-carat category, FCRF explained. 

The downturn in prices of yellow fancy-color diamonds was led by a drop for stones weighing 1 to 3 carats, with 1-carat yellows falling 2.7%. However, prices of 8-carat fancy-yellow diamonds increased 2.1% in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 4.8% in the first three months of the year. 

The weak demand that has persisted in the market overall is also likely affecting prices of colored diamonds, the FCRF said. 

“The recent price declines in the white goods created an overall negative psychological effect on all diamonds,” explained FCRF advisory board member Eden Rachminov. “This is probably the reason we also witnessed a decline of 0.1% in the Fancy Color Index.”

The index tracks prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy-color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York and Tel Aviv.

Investing in Bonds

The benefits

For investor’s looking to diversify their portfolio, bonds can provide an excellent alternative to stocks and shares helping to provide a hedge against the volatility of more risky investment options. Bonds guarantee the investor a fixed return, and steady income stream over a fixed period of time.

What is a bond?

Bonds are essentially a loan payed by the holder to the bond issuer in exchange for fixed payments, payed back over a specified amount of time. The loan is often used to fund some kind of project by the issuer and in most cases the bonds are secured by a physical asset in order to protect the investor.

Fixed/guaranteed income

Bonds pay fixed interest rates meaning you are guaranteed a certain amount of money back each year that you hold the bonds. Dividends are normally paid quarterly, and payments are made direct to your bank account. Whilst some bonds are a long-term investment and mature over 5 years plus, there are also short-term bonds available that pay your money back within a year or even less making them a great investment for investor’s that need a more liquid investment.

Higher dividends

Bonds typically pay out a higher than average rate of dividends, typically ranging from 8 to 12%. This is a lot higher than most banks so investing your money into bonds will earn you a lot more than investing your money in a standard rate ISA.

Tax advantages

Bonds can provide certain tax advantages holders, particularly if you’re a higher rate taxpayer. All gains and income earned from investment bonds are taxed at 20% and are paid directly out of the bond. Holders are also permitted to withdraw up to 5% a year for 20 years without incurring additional charges. If you don’t withdraw your 5% allowance, then it is carried over to the following year which means higher rate taxpayers can minimise their tax bill through clever bond investments.

The World’s Biggest Diamond Mine Is Closing

About 90% of pink diamonds—some of the world’s most expensive gems—are found there

Argyle Pink Diamonds

The world’s biggest diamond mine⁠—famed more for the fistful of coveted pink and red gems it yields each year than being a major producer of lower-quality stones—is being shuttered by Rio Tinto Group after almost four decades. Rivals from Russia to Canada hope that can help turn around the beleaguered industry.

Rio’s Argyle mine in remote Western Australia has transformed the sector since 1983 when the operation began supplying gems for both ends of the market. RBC Capital Markets and Panmure Gordon are among brokers, banks and competitors forecasting the closure could kick-start prices that have waned since 2011, according to PolishedPrices.com, an industry data provider.

Argyle Mine

Production at Argyle, about 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) northeast of the state capital Perth, is scheduled to end before the end of next year after finally exhausting its supply of economically viable stones, said Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s head of copper and diamonds.

“There is going to be a fair bit of supply which is going to come out of the market,” Soirat said in an interview Friday at the mine site. “In late 2020 we’ll be stopping operations and will start the rehabilitation of the site.”

Argyle is best known as the source of about 90% of the world’s prized pink diamonds—rose-to-magenta hued stones that command among the sector’s highest prices. Sotheby’s auctioned the 59.6 carat “Pink Star”, mined by Rio’s rival De Beers, for $71 million in April 2017, a record auction price for any gem. While they attract most attention, the pink stones account for less than 0.01% of Argyle’s total output.

Diamond Kings

Rio is the third-largest diamond producer by output, according to Bain & Co.

The mine also is the biggest diamond producer by volume and that’s what has put the operation at the center of global oversupply. More than three-quarters of Argyle’s output is composed of lower-value brown diamonds, and the mine’s overall output sells for an average of between $15-$25 a carat, Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. estimated in 2017. That’s far less than the $171 a carat average price realized last year by De Beers.

A glut of cheap and small diamonds has eroded profits for nearly every miner and made it increasingly hard for the industry’s cutters, polishers and traders to make a profit. In December, some of Rio’s customers refused to buy cheaper stones, while De Beers has been forced to cut some prices and offer concessions to buyers.

Argyle Mine

Yet, with consumer appetite for diamonds stable, and major mines including Argyle scheduled to shutter, “the rational offset between supply and demand should lead to price growth,” Stornoway Diamond Corp. Chief Executive Officer Pat Godin said in March. Declining output, led by Argyle’s closure, will help revive prices, Toronto-based producer Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. said in May.

About 21 million carats a year of global diamond production—including about 14 million a year from Argyle—are scheduled to exit the market by 2023, a volume that’ll only partially be offset by the addition of new mines, according to Russia’s Alrosa PJSC, the world’s diamond biggest producer. The shortfall between annual demand and supply could be between 11 million and 35 million carats by 2023, the company said in a presentation last month.

Less Than Sparkling

Diamond prices have fallen from their high in 2011

“In terms of the pink diamonds, the impact is going to be even more dramatic” from Argyle’s closure, Rio’s Soirat said in the interview. “You can imagine the laws of supply and demand will apply, and you can imagine the impact that will have on those very rare pink, red, blue and purple diamonds.”

The producer estimates Argyle has only about 150 colored diamonds of sufficient quality left to extract and make available for its annual tender, a sale to invited buyers that showcases 50-to-60 of the year’s most valuable gems, he said.

Argyle Mine

Prices of pink diamonds have already as much as quadrupled over the past 10 years, and buyers are “now just waking up to the potential impact that Argyle’s closure will have” in lifting values further, said Frauke Bolten-Boshammer, proprietor of Kimberley Fine Diamonds, a retailer based in the town of Kununurra, about 200 kilometers north of the mine. She has traded the gems since the 1990s.

Overall, the diamond sector probably also needs a boost to downstream demand, according to Richard Hatch, a London-based analyst at Berenberg. Mine closures that tighten supply “will help, but is it the shot in the arm that the industry really needs? Probably not,” Hatch said.

Buyers have been hit by a shortage of finance and stagnant end markets, while a weaker rupee has made gems more expensive for Indian manufacturers, who cut or polish about 90% of the world’s stones.

The closure of Argyle will remove about 75% of Rio’s diamonds output, yet the impact on the producer’s earnings will be negligible. Diamonds bring in only about 2% of earnings, while iron ore—the company’s top commodity⁠—accounts for almost 60% .

Rio in 2016 shuttered the Bunder development project in India and in 2015 exited the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe. The producer’s only other producing diamond asset, Diavik in Canada, is scheduled to close in 2025, though exploration work is continuing to potentially extend that site’s life, Soirat told reporters Friday at Argyle.

Still, the company aims to retain a presence in the sector. While it could consider acquisitions to add new output, Rio’s main focus is on exploration⁠—an option that’ll take longer to deliver new output growth. Work is advancing on the Fort a la Corne project in Saskatchewan, a joint venture project that potentially could enter production within five to 10 years, Soirat said.

Diamonds is “not a big business in Rio, however it is a very profitable business,” he told reporters, adding that the company has advantages in the sector that it can look to continue to exploit, including technical expertise and branding. “It’s not a commodity, it is luxury goods, and so the market dynamics are completely different.”

Argyle Pink Diamonds

Source:Bloomberg.com

Why the Argyle Bond Represents an Ideal Investment for First Time Investors

For first time investors, choosing the right investment in which to place your hard-earned money can be a difficult decision. There are lots of considerations to think about such as the amount of returns you expect to make, how soon you want to be able to withdraw your money and the risks associated with each investment, Traditionally the most common investments tend to be stocks, shares and bonds which which are all solid choices for first time investors, however your overall goals and what you are looking to achieve from your investment will ultimately determine what option you go for. Whilst stocks and shares can provide potentially very high returns in a relatively short amount of time there is a much larger risk factor attached to them when compared with bonds, which tend to come with less of a risk factor but can also be a much longer term investment meaning they are less liquid should you want to with withdraw your money quickly.

Diamond investments Vs Gold

When it comes to investing in precious commodities, two investments stand out above all others. Diamonds and Gold. Gold has been traded for centuries and has stood the test of time as both a reliable and relatively risk-free investment however, diamonds, in particular coloured diamonds, have proved to be a canny investment choice for investors looking to make large scale returns in a relatively short amount of time. Both assets have similar advantages as an investment, for example they both act as a hedge against inflation and they are both finite resources meaning they have an actual value as opposed to stocks and shares which are wholly reliant on the market to determine their worth. They are also both easily stored and fairly portable should you need to transport the goods or take them with you which is an important consideration when deciding where to invest your money. In terms of liquidity however, Gold holds up far better as an investment choice. Gold is traded everywhere in the world and can be traded fairly easily whereas diamonds are much harder to value and can be difficult to sell on the open market.

If you were to measure both assets in terms of the risk involved, then most experts would recommend gold as an investment. It is currently very difficult to predict the true value of coloured diamonds as there is no real market price. Most coloured diamonds are sold via private auction and their value is based on individual criteria such as cut, clarity and colour. This makes diamonds a much riskier investment. However, with great risk comes great reward and coloured diamonds have the potential to provide much greater returns than gold. Not only are they considered rarer and considerably more scarce, (Only one diamond in every 10,000 is a coloured diamond) but supply is also running out much faster due to escalating mining costs and dwindling resources. The Argyle mine in Australia is currently the biggest supplier of coloured diamonds in the world and responsible for 90% of total pink production. The mine is scheduled for closure in 2020 making these precious gems highly sought after among investors. In the last decade coloured diamonds have continued to appreciate in value year on year making them a much less volatile investment than gold which has fluctuated in value dramatically. Pink diamonds have appreciated by an incredible 10% per annum making them a particularly sound invest choice. When deciding where to invest your money, you should look at your investment goals and what you’re looking to achieve from an investment perspective as there are pro’s and con’s to both.

Diamond market harder to value

Gold more liquid

Harder to invest in diamonds – need to know about the four c’s

Diamonds hold their value better

Money Matters: so how do Argyle Bonds compare?

These days, everyone is cautious about their money. And quite rightly so, in the wake of several years of market depression and now Brexit, we’re all conditioned to be careful with our hard-earned cash.

It’s been the leanest of times of all for investors though. With bank interest rates at an all time low, where do Mr & Mrs Normal go to invest their savings and earn a decent return? Discounting the high risk ventures – which the average household is not going to feel safe enough to try – where do those of us who consider ourselves to be a Mr or Mrs Normal go to earn a decent rate of return on our money?

In April of last year, amid much fanfare and trumpet blowing, the UK Government launched its Investment Guaranteed Growth Bond (IGGB)…….to a wave of instant scorn and criticism. Offering a supposed ‘market leading’ 2.2% on investments between £100 and £3,000 at a fixed length three year period, critics were quick to jump on the obvious problems. An underwhelming interest rate, an amount capped at £3,000 that was quickly described as ‘meagre’ and no options on the term length led to most financial experts immediately dismissing the Government Bond as offering anything useful to the general public.

So with UK Government Bonds (more commonly known as ‘Gilts’) offering very little return on investment, more seasoned investors are turning to Corporate Bonds to offer a more generous return, but without straying too far into that ‘high risk venture’ playing field we’re all conditioned to avoid.

So instead of investing in the Government’s borrowing, you’re investing in the future of a company. Corporate bonds are often issued to fund a particular project or expansion, and can offer some exciting opportunities to investors.

Consider Argyle Bonds, a fairly new arrival to the Corporate Bonds family. Investments opportunities start from £5,000 upwards, and range from 3 to 5 years with fixed rates of returns from 6 – 8% p.a. That beats the current offerings from the High Street and the Government Bonds by quite some way, as well as offering considerably more flexibility in terms of timescales and returns.

For those of us who consider ourselves squarely in the ‘Mr & Mrs Normal’ camp of investors, we’re all looking for the same thing. A good rate of return, the opportunity to set the time limit and level of investment, safe in the knowledge that what we’re actually doing is investing in our own futures along the way. And if we’re helping a company with a project we believe in at the same time, even better.

Argyle Bonds current offer is almost certainly one of the most interesting available on the market – so if you have a little experience in investing, a little money currently underperforming, and a little time to spare to investigate the offer further, go to www.theargylegroup.co.uk and request an Argyle Bonds information pack. The rest is obviously down to you to decide, but you’ll be doing so with all the facts and figures right at your fingertips.

_ Argyle Bonds _

New Year, New Opportunities by Argyle Bonds

 

Mid-January. By now, some of us have stopped going to the Gym (or realised we’re never actually going to go!) or fallen off our diet wagon or decided ‘Veganuary’ was a big step too far! But if your New Year’s resolution was to find a better investment for your hard earned cash, or to expand your current portfolio in new and exciting ways, then look no further – Argyle Bonds could have just the opportunity you’re looking for.

Entrepreneur and CEO of the Argyle Group, Rav Dhillon, says: ‘Our Investment Bonds are perfect for experienced investors who want to earn more from their savings. We’re currently busy meeting people up and down the country who have decided to start their New Year with a review of what their portfolio is earning them.’

The ethos at Argyle Bonds is clear on talking to Rav. The company is excited by the opportunities available via their brand new fixed income bond, and that excitement clearly translates over to their new Clients. ‘This isn’t just any old investment opportunity’ Rav explains ‘You’re helping us to buy a piece of history, something that will never happen again.’

Rav Dhillon’s Argyle Group consists of a number of companies all producing stunning bespoke pieces using the natural coloured pink diamonds found only in the Argyle Mine in Australia: and it won’t be producing them for very much longer.

The mine’s owners recently announced that due to rising costs they would discontinue mining operations in 2020, meaning a massive fall in the number of natural coloured diamonds available to the world from that point onwards, and already leading to a spike in demand and prices which is of course what Argyle Bonds was developed to take advantage of.

Rav continues ‘We want to raise £3 million pounds via this innovative corporate bonds issue to buy some of the last naturally available pink diamonds in the world. Using the other companies within the group, we’ll turn those diamonds into bespoke pieces of jewellery or collectors items in our unique Argyle Coins.’

So this New Year, when you’re considering your investment portfolio, make it a part of your resolution to consider investing in something so unique it will quite literally never happen again – an investment in a finite natural resource that’s already continually rising in value as a response to that fixed end date of its availability. In so much as there’s no sure thing in investment terms, in this instance, like the rare gems themselves, you have perfect clarity of knowledge upfront about what the outcome is likely to be.