Goodbye London, Hello Gaborone: De Beers Sales Head To Africa

The Botswana government said we would like you to sell the Botswana diamonds here,” said Varda Shine, who runs De Beers’ Global Sightholder Sales. “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.

Football Thursday: Can ‘Madden’ video game do more to help NFL in London than the Jaguars?

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 . The Vikings invaded Regent Street last week in London. (AP) The NFL is determined to make London work. Anyone who doubts that should have been standing Saturday afternoon on the city’s biggest shopping avenue, Regent Street between the Oxford and Piccadilly Circuses. This is because the NFL had the road closed to traffic and filled 2,000 feet of pavement with every gimmick it knows to shove itself into Europe’s awareness. There were races on Jaguar-themed moonbounces, inflatable rooms in which one could catch balls shot from pitching machines just like the pros do, places to kick field goals, and a stage behind which fans could wait 90 minutes to get their picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy. There were trailers selling American burgers, a spot where old men dressed like Elvis square danced to techno pop, not to mention a television blaring the Jaguars’ 2012 highlights, and a booth for the City of Jacksonville as if to say: we’ll give you our team if you come visit our miles of beautiful beaches.

Vikings get first win, Steelers don’t in NFL’s London showcase

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt walks off the field after the Texans were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.

Jerry Rice holds the record with nine. PHOTOS: Best of NFL Week 4 Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt walks off the field after the Texans were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 in overtime. Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts in the fourth quarter as blood drips down from his nose against the Seattle Seahawks at Reliant Stadium. Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks to pass the ball against the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Crystal LoGiudice, USA TODAY Spor New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) congratulates running back Darren Sproles (43) after a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Crystal LoGiudice, USA TODAY Sports Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) fumbles the ball as he is tackled by New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (behind) and outside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Crystal LoGiudice, USA TODAY Sports Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) is tackled by New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (75) safety Steve Gregory (28) and linebacker Dont’a Hightower (54) during the first quarter at Georgia Dome. Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) scores a touchdown in the first half against the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome. Daniel Shirey, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (99) sacks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws the ball during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) is tackled by Washington Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather (31) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore tackles Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in the second quarter. Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant out jumps San Diego Chargers defensive back Richard Marshall to score a first half touchdown. Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports San Diego Chargers defensive end Kendall Reyes chases down Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo during the first quarter. Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans defensive end Ropati Pitoitua sacks New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith during the first half. Don McPeak, USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter celebrates scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets with teammate Chris Johnson. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half. Don McPeak, USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker rushes during the first half against the New York Jets. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker catches a pass for a touchdown against the New York Jets. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell scores a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. Bob Martin, USA TODAY Sports Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bob Martin, USA TODAY Sports Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson runs between Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen (right) and safety Robert Golden. Bob Martin, USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams catches the ball for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals. Kim Klement Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon drops back during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals. Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer yells to the his offensive line during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rob Foldy, USA TODAY Sports Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson is stopped short of the goal line by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny in the second quarter. Phil Sears, USA TODAY Sports Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee holds for Adam Vinatieri as he kicks a field goal in the second quarter. Phil Sears, USA TODAY Sports Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis intercepts a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III. Phil Sears, USA TODAY Sports Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne cannot hold onto a pass as he is hit by Jacksonville defenders in the first quarter. Phil Sears, USA TODAY Sports Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Will Blackmon intercepts a pass in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey in the first quarter. Phil Sears, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer runs the ball during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green tries to catch a pass while defended by Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden and free safety Tashaun Gipson. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron catches a touchdown pass in front of Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Taylor Mays. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin runs after a catch during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer throws a pass during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden fist bumps with a boy on the sidelines before the Browns’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Kiko Alonso seals the game with an interception on a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens tight end Dallas Clark Kevin Hoffman, USA TODAY Sports Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco gets hit by Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Alan Branch after throwing a pass during the first half. Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller gets tackled by Baltimore Ravens free safety Matt Elam. Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller breaks a tackle by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Daryl Smith during the first half. Kevin Hoffman, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Arthur Moats tackles Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown during the first quarter. Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce carries the ball during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills. Timothy T.

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