Jun 28, 2011

Gem emporium kicks off

Jade, gem and pearl buyers from here and abroad are expected to flock to the capital for the 49th Myanma Gems Emporium that will run from July 1 to 13 at the Mani Yadana Jade Hall in Zabuthiri township.

The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported on June 19 that pearl lots will be auctioned off on July 2 and 3; jewellery pieces will be sold through tender and competitive bidding on July 4; and jade lots will be sold through tender from July 3 to 9 and via competitive bidding form July 10 to 13.

The emporium will be the third held in the capital and follows not long after the last sale held from March 10-22. Sales of gems and jade at that auction were almost unbelievable. A Myanmar Gems Enterprise official told The Myanmar Times on March 31 that sales exceeded 2 billion euros (US$2.8 billion at the time).

The New Light of Myanmar reported on March 29 that a total of 13,608 jade lots were sold during the emporium, which attracted more than 8700 buyers, including 4719 foreigners.

Prices at the auctions are set in euros to avoid US sanctions, an anonymous trader said.

However, some jade traders warned in late May that some unscrupulous Chinese buyers walk away from their deposits and never pay for what they have agreed to buy.

Ko Kyaw Kyaw Hein, a spokesperson for Thida Mya Nan Jade Company, said his firm has had some bad experiences with Chinese buyers at previous auctions.

“My company has taken part in all of the three emporiums in Nay Pyi Taw and we’ve encountered some unreliable buyers. In our experience some buyers pay their deposits during the event but disappear afterward and we never hear from them again,” he said.

He added that some companies refuse to finalise payments even after receiving the stones they said they would purchase.

“Most of our sales are on credit and it takes so long for to get the payments sometimes; some buyers refuse to pay up,” Ko Kyaw Kyaw Hein warned.

U Phone Aung, the owner of Global jade company, advised exhibitors to only make deals with international buyers they know.

“Local jade and gems companies rely on the emporiums to generate quick sales to international buyers but it’s just as important to find reliable partners,” he said.

A Myanmar Gems Enterprise spokesperson said the auction’s organisers are aware of the problem. “Myanmar Gems Enterprise will blacklist buyers and companies that do not promptly settle accounts.”

Source: Myanmar Times