Goodbye London: De Beers Heads To Africa

It will shift more than $6 billion of annual rough diamond sales from an international financial centre to a comparative backwater with a population of 230,000, in one of the most dramatic examples of a producing country battling successfully to keep value and profits from the raw materials at home. The change will test Botswana’s ability to develop skills and services, lower an unemployment rate stuck at roughly 18 percent and diversify an economy still dependent on diamonds for more than 80 percent of exports. By separating sales from corporate headquarters, the move is also arguably the biggest challenge De Beers has faced to the way it does business since the current sales model was set up nearly a century ago to secure its then-dominant position. END OF AN ERA The shift south, long expected in one form or another, raises practical questions – visa difficulties, a lack of direct flights and suitable hotels – but has also sparked a debate around the future of De Beers and its role in the gem market. Still the world’s largest producer by value, De Beers was taken over by Anglo American in a deal completed last year which bought out the Oppenheimer family, cutting direct links to the dynasty that ran the firm for almost a century. “It is what you would call the end of an era, but it should not be seen as a negative, it should be seen as the natural progression of the industry,” Kieron Hodgson, an equity analyst at Charles Stanley in London. Others are less sanguine. “I don’t think any of them really want to be (in Gaborone), but they don’t have a choice as the diamonds are in the ground there,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Des Kilalea. “It is akin to saying we won’t have an London Metal Exchange, you’ll have to go to Chile to get your copper. It is blatantly inefficient – though in terms of politics and development, if I were president I’d do the same.” De Beers has already moved its diamond sorting and aggregation businesses – the operations that sift through the production from each mine and bring the gems together before they are allocated to buyers – to Gaborone. It has also been supporting cutting and polishing operations by making more diamonds available locally – encouraging international firms like Tannenbaum’s to grow there. The Leo Schachter group now employs some 300 people in Botswana. A TIGHT GRIP De Beers’ London sights date back to the 1930s, when it set up what became the Diamond Trading Company to control supply, secure demand and tighten its grip on the market in rough diamonds, of which it held some 80 percent at its peak in the 1980s and 90s. Gems from all mines were aggregated and quantities for customers were agreed in advance. Buyers were vetted and could not refuse gems in their allocation without risking future supply.

London air pollution ‘dangerously high’

Quite the opposite, claims Hill. A lot of clients, theyre struggling for meeting space in Central London. Theyre really happy to come to us. Weve got a huge space. Weve got a Muay Thai boxing gym in here, so we have two boxing rings in the office people find it quite quirky. If were going to meet clients, then the fact that we can show them an interesting space that isnt just four desks in a really expensive Shoreditch office gives us some more credibility, Hill says. And The Downsides If Hill and other West London startups have the classic advantages of the gentrification pioneer big, character filled spaces in which to create he also faces some of the same challenges. The biggest one? Imminent interest in the transforming neighborhood that will shift the real estate market once again. FIGs warehouse home is slated for demolition in the next few years to make way for an expansion of the shopping center that also serves as its landlord, so the incubator is already making plans for a move. Were already looking for where might the next big warehouse project is that we can take over and bring in even more exciting businesses, Hill says. That might be a hassle for the companies in FIG Village, but its good news for the city, Hill feels. I certainly think West London is changing. The Chelsea/Kensington area is trying to make a push for having some level of tech presence as well, as is Notting Hill, he reports. Its a testament to how much is going on in London writ large that people are not just concentrated in a one-mile square area. So will the growing prominence of West London startups create a new hub to rival Silicon Roundabout in the east?

Is London Big Enough For A Second Startup Hub?

With world ranking points and a $120,000 cash prize all on the line, Sunday promises to produce eight worthy champions at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Parks Copper Box Arena. Read on for all you need to know heading into the competitions climax. 2013 London Grand Prix Gold Finals Playing Order 1. Women’s Doubles (12 p.m. BST) Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Denmark) Line Damkjaer Kruse/Marie Roepke (Denmark) 2-0 Berry Angriawan/Ricky Karanda Suwardi (Indonesia) 2-1 Houwei Tian vs. Hans-Christian Vittinghus Can Tian stage a final singles upset? Yes, Vittinghus is there for the taking. No, beating the Dane is one task too many. Submit Vote vote to see results Can Tian stage a final singles upset? Yes, Vittinghus is there for the taking. 0% No, beating the Dane is one task too many. 0% Total votes: 0 Houwei Tian had the most difficult time of any singles player in reaching this stage of the London Grand Prix, the only finalist to not seeded Tuesday morning. Along the way, the Chinese underdog saw the retirements of his first two opponents before overcoming No. 1 overall seed Jan O Jorgensen in a three-game thriller last Thursday.

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Local environment groups placed 36 diffusion monitoring tubes on structures close to parks, bus stops, busy roads and in residential areas, to measure emissions in more than 30 streets. They were left for four weeks and only four were removed or stolen.Analysis by a laboratory used by government found that concentrations of the toxic exhaust pipe gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeded EU levels by over 50 per cent in some areas, and was over the safety limit in 15 out of 32 places tested. The results are alarming, say the groups, because colourless, odourless NO2 pollution is cumulative and the 15 sites surpassed the annual safety limit after only four weeks. The experiment suggests that official testing of roadside air pollution is limited and insufficient. Many of the tubes measured emissions in streets that are never monitored, and those placed near official monitors mostly recorded levels above those published by government. Air pollution from traffic in east London is considered by health experts to be some of the worst in Britain, mostly affecting the old and young and linked to respiratory and heart diseases. It is estimated that air pollution kills over 4,000 people in the city each year. The Green party assembly member Darren Johnson said on Friday that Londonas air pollution was an aabsolute crisis.a Environment groups expect air pollution to deteriorate further in east London if two major infrastructure developments are permitted. City airport has submitted plans which could allow it to add 50,000 more flights a year. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also wants a new Thames road crossing that could massively increase traffic. aOur sampling showed that in key public locations readings are breaching EU guidelines. We are being asked to believe that the massive expansion of London city airport will have only a negligible impact on air quality. This shows it is simply not the case,a said Alan Haughton of Stop City Airport.