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Graff Diamonds sees sparkle in USD1b IPO

Graff Diamonds, the London-based high-end jeweller whose customers have included European royalty and the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, has kicked off its USD1 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong on Monday despite poor market sentiment.

"Yes, the market hasn’t looked healthy in the past two weeks, but Graff Diamonds is very healthy," Laurence Graff, the company’s founding chairman told Hong Kong media in a video conference.

Shares will be offered at between HKD25 (USD3.2) and HKD37 per share, or 18 to 24 times estimated 2012 earnings. This values the company in a range of HKD23.2b to HKD31b. Subscriptions has been opened to the public from Monday until Thursday, and the price will be fixed on Friday. The shares are expected to make their debut on 7 June.

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