MARKETS SPECTATOR: Walsh's diamond dynasty continues

Sam Walsh may heading up a cost cutting drive at Rio Tinto, but he won't be railroaded into the fire sale of non-core units.

Diamonds are forever for Rio Tinto’s boss Sam Walsh. That view has not been shared by many investors who have long wanted a sale of Rio’s diamond business. Today their hopes have been squashed. They should not be surprised. Walsh signaled the retention of the business, which produces about 20 per cent of the world’s rough diamonds, in an interview with the UK’s Daily Telegraph earlier this month. Walsh said, when asked about a sale of the company’s diamond unit, that: “I'd be quite happy to keep it”.

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