Graff seeks to sparkle with $1bn flotation in Asia next year

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The Independent Online

Graff, the diamond specialist and jeweller, plans to list in Hong Kong next year, which will help it raise about $1bn ($64m) to expand in Asia and other cities worldwide.

Laurence Graff, the founder and chairman of the London-based firm, which sells diamonds and precious gems, said: "Unless you are a certain size you haven't got a chance."

Speaking at its flagship Hong Kong store, the 73-year-old added: "Competition, in time, is going to be less and less because you have to be a giant in the industry to support the stocks that you have, the high rentals, support new design, new effort and be able to experiment in new countries."

One of Britain's richest men with an estimated fortune of nearly $3bn, Mr Graff founded the jeweller in 1960 in London and since then has counted the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Imelda Marcos and the Sultan of Brunei among his clients.

As well as its global flagship store on London's New Bond Street, Graff has more than 30 stores, including in New York, Monte Carlo, Beijing and Taipei. It plans to open in China's Hangzhou and Macau next year.