“We believe our business model is quite strong and provides value for De Beers and its shareholders – so we came up with the idea of moving the whole business.” But some in the industry say it presents challenges that the model may not survive. De Beers already sells 10 percent of its production through auction as opposed to via sights, and according to the 2011 deal, the Botswana government will be able to sell a portion of local production through state-owned Okavango that will rise to 15 percent. De Beers says the auctions provide a guide price for sightholders, but others only see competition. “There is a direct challenge to the De Beers sightholders system taking place,” says diamond entrepreneur Martin Rapaport, whose own group operates rough and polished diamond tenders. There are also questions about the wisdom of separating De Beers’ management, which will remain headquartered in London, from its sales and the expertise that has underpinned the group. “The diamond end of the business is going to become divorced from the corporate end of the business, and the corporate end of the business has already been largely denuded of diamond expertise,” said Brian Menell, whose family sold a stake in the Venetia mine to De Beers a decade ago and now has mining interests across Africa as head of the private Kemet group. He also pointed out the move brings De Beers closer to just one of its producing nations, which could arguably skew its views. Botswana accounts for almost three-quarters of De Beers production, but it also has mines in Namibia, South Africa and Canada. ANTWERP, DUBAI, GABORONE? For its part, Botswana – long hailed as an African success story – is hoping the De Beers shift will help it boost skills and develop as a diamond hub that will attract a growing traffic of buyers across Africa. While it may never outshine Antwerp, Dubai or Tel Aviv, Gaborone hopes it can carve out its own niche. Many question whether it can really change the structure of an industry where most of the resources are in Africa but most of the value is generated elsewhere, and whether its strategy is good preparation for life after diamonds, as the mines age. Thanks to improvements in technology used in cutting and polishing and increased efficiency, Botswana has lowered its costs to compete, for larger stones at least, with India. But Tannenbaum says productivity still lags behind, making margins difficult for smaller gems, where the cost of cutting and polishing can make up a larger percentage of the final price.
They see an organization without a plan and they fear the Jaguars will be a flop. “A lot of fans don’t want to see a team here, since if it doesn’t work, the NFL will say, ‘Do we really want to be here?'” said Gerard Gillen, a student in London who spent his childhood in Ireland mocked by his fellow students for his devotion to the NFL. Or as Samuel said: “They’re going to come and get their cheap Jaguars flags and sit in the stands and they’re going to see the team they’re supposed to root for getting their backsides handed to them.” British fans aren’t like ours. Their sports passions run deep, often from birth. They don’t warm as Americans do to a new team dropped in their town like the Ravens in Baltimore wrapped in the expectation that it will be adored simply because it is theirs. Loyalty is stronger than that in London. Those who love football here have already adopted their teams. They might adore those teams for strange reasons like Paul Leparte from Chichester who is a Bengals fan because he likes tigers or his father, Martin, who picked the Cowboys because old Texas Stadium appeared in the opening credits of “Dallas.” Once those bonds are tied they are tied for good. Few of them see how the Jaguars can change that. The chances are more likely they resemble Chris George, a Lions fan in a Tim Tebow jersey (“I love Tebow more than I would love a son,”) who thinks the greatest benefit the Jaguars would bring is to watch the opposing team’s stars. “I’m not going to come out and watch Luke Joeckel play football,” he said. Which is not the slogan the NFL was looking to hang on its London billboard. American football fans are going to hate this. View gallery .
Football Thursday: Can ‘Madden’ video game do more to help NFL in London than the Jaguars?
The benchmark FTSE 100 index edged up 4.84 points or 0.08 percent to 6,453.88 points, but down from last Friday’s 6,512.66 points close. Key US non-farm payrolls data had been scheduled for publication on Friday afternoon, but the shutdown has prevented the Labor Department’s data collection and release. “Without the non-farm payroll data this afternoon, markets look likely to meander into the close as we await news over the weekend as to when an end to the impasse might come,” said CMC analyst Nick Dale-Lace. Fund manager Standard Life led the gainers, climbing 2.52 percent to 354.10 pence, while engineering group GKN added 2.44 percent to 352.90 pence. State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland rose 1.77 percent to 373.20 pence and Loose Women broadcaster ITV put on 1.71 percent to 178.50 pence. B&Q owner Kingfisher tumbled 2.89 percent to 369 pence, topping the decliners’ board, while temporary power specialist Aggreko sank 2.50 percent to 1,442 pence. Barclays eased 0.60 percent to 271.35 pence as the bank announced it has sold nearly all of the shares in its A5.8 billion rights issue. On the currency markets, the pound weakened to $1.6052 at 5:26 pm from $1.6169 on Thursday evening and retreated to 1.838 euros from 1.1859 the previous night. Investment & Company Information NYPD Cop Was with Motorcyclists Who Beat SUV Driver in NYC ABC News WASHINGTON (AP) A man set himself on fire on the National Mall in the nation’s capital as passers-by rushed over to help douse the flames, officials and witnesses said Friday afternoon. Associated Press19 mins ago