The Russian government is considering selling the $1 billion worth of diamonds is purchased last year from Alrosa after diamond prices plunged, media reports said.
Following a record high for diamond prices in 2008, the global recession sent prices plummeting over 40%, prompting Russia's government to make the purchase as a way of supporting the state-owned Alrosa diamond company – the largest diamond supplier in the world.
Alrosa Chief Executive Officer Fyodor Andreev was quoted in a July 12 interview saying that thanks to the recovery in diamond prices, the Russian government had already earned 15 to 18 percent on the diamonds.
Andreev said that Gokhran, the government repository, could sell the stones or propose "some kind of swap" with Alrosa.
Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, speaking in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia, this weekend, said that he had been asked to start the process of selling the reserve of diamonds acquired in 2009. "We are now considering these offers," he said.
Kudrin added that the world market for the diamond industry had "woken up" and that the rebound in diamond prices "completely justified" the government's decision to throw its financial support behind Alrosa, for which he predicted "bright prospects."
The finance minister further noted that Alrosa should make maximum transparency and "global market quotations" its current goals.