June 28, 2017 / 8:36 AM / a year ago

Petra Diamonds' stock tumbles on lower output outlook

(Reuters) - Petra Diamonds’ (PDL.L) stock price fell to its lowest in a year after the diamond miner said full-year production would fall 8-9 percent short of its earlier guidance of 4.4 million carats due to a slower-than-anticipated build-up of its expansion programme.

A visitor holds a 17 carat diamond at a Petra Diamonds mine in Cullinan, outside Pretoria, January 22,2009. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Shares in the company fell as much as 10.1 percent on Wednesday, but later pared losses to trade down 4.9 percent at 108.09 pence at 0839 BST on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, which owns the Cullinan mine that has produced the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels, said revenue would also be between 8 percent and 9 percent lower than market consensus.

    Investors look to diamonds, which tend to hold value when basic commodities fall in price, to shield their portfolio from volatile markets.

    Petra said it had initial discussions with its lender group and was “confident” that the likely shortfall in the upcoming ratio measurement, arising from the lower production levels, would not be an issue.

    Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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