RAPAPORT... China's Fosun conglomerate has put in a rival bid to takeover Gemfields, following an earlier offer by the colored-gemstone miner'slargest shareholder.Fosun Gold, a subsidiary of the Shanghai-based holdingcompany, has proposed to buy Gemfields for $0.52 (GBP 0.409) per share,representing a 15.1% premium over the miner's closing share price onTuesday. The initial offer is 10.1% higher than a $270.4 million (GBP211.5 million) bid by main investor Pallinghurst Resources last month. Fosunsaid its bid "would provide Gemfields shareholders with a compelling cashalternative at a significant premium to the Pallinghurst offer," according to aGemfields stock-exchange filing Wednesday. An investment in Gemfields would complement its otherconsumer businesses and enable the miner to improve its access to the growingChinese market, Fosun explained. "Fosun has noted the increasing size of the precious-stonesmarket as consumers in China and other emerging markets increasinglydemonstrate their wealth, status and emotional commitment to one anotherthrough jewelry and luxury goods, as well as the growing use of engagementrings," the bidder said. The steadily rising auction prices Gemfields has been seeingfor its emeralds, rubies and sapphires support that trend, Fosun continued,also noting "the increasing sales volumes that have been achieved through its strategyof consistent, high-quality production and auctions." Gemfields said it was "actively engaged" in discussion withFosun and advised shareholders not to take action in relation to the offer. Last month, Fosun acquired a stake in Polyus Gold, Russia'slargest gold producer.