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Aurex eyes international markets


AUREX Holdings says its market share has only grown slightly despite a 50% jump in their bridal jewellery business, forcing the company to shift focus to the international market.



The jewellery manufacturer is in talks with a “known player” in the international diamond cutting industry to help them get a foothold into the international marketplace, an executive said yesterday.

Aurex Holdings general manager, Paipa Munhumutema told NewsDay yesterday that the slow growth in their market share had convinced them that the local market was no longer sufficient, with the international market providing an alternative.

“This is an area that takes time to grow because we need to align with international partners to enter the space.

For the last year, our focus was to actually get into technical partnerships with a company that has got a foothold on the international market. We are almost concluding talks with one technical partner, whom we hope will give us access in the international market,” he said.

“In terms of the various products, there is fashion jewellery and bridal jewellery. On the bridal jewellery side, I think we have got a bigger market share, there and are more than 50% in terms of being active on that market, but it is a market where we need to do more. It is a brand, which is well-known in the industry. For the fashion jewellery it is being impacted by the economic market.”

Munhumutema said economic trends were behind the slow growth and that the international markets they would be focusing on for the year were Dubai, South Africa, India, China and Belgium.

Due to a decline in disposable incomes and general liquidity in the country, buying has been more constrained to basic necessities and not luxuries such as diamonds.

As a result, Aurex Holdings has been finding it difficult to grow their business on the local market, leading them to step up efforts to sign partnerships with international players.

Aurex bids for rough cut diamonds from auction floors at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and Murowa auction floors, which it then cuts and polishes for resale.

Aurex Holdings is a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and has eight retail stores across the country. The company say 75% of its production process is automated, while 25% is manual, thanks to a $2 million loan from CBZ Bank.

In the first nine months to September 2016, diamond production dropped by 37% to 1,66 million carats compared to 2,62m carats over the same period in 2015, thereby, affecting supply.

In November, Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe CEO, Isaac Kwesu said the drop in diamond production was due to the reorganisation and restructuring of the sector. This came after the government ordered nine diamond producers in Marange to halt production, as their licences had expired.

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