THE call to grant directors the authority to allot and issue shares got a cool response from Noble Group's shareholders, even as all resolutions at its annual shareholders' meeting were passed on Friday, a regulatory filing showed.
Based on the voting breakdown, the resolution to authorise the directors to allot and issue shares invited the most disagreement, with just 60 per cent of the votes cast in favour of the resolution. Most of the other resolutions - including those to re-elect certain directors and to re-appoint its auditor Ernst & Young - were clearly approved, with nearly 100 per cent of supporting votes cast.
Noble's chairman Richard Elman owns about a fifth of the company's shares.
The commodities firm has come under heavy criticism by little-known research firm Iceberg Research, which claims that Noble's assets are inflated. Short seller Muddy Waters, which also took aim at another Singapore-listed commodities firm Olam International, has also disclosed that it holds short positions in Noble.
Iceberg this week launched another salvo of questions aimed at Noble Group on its website. In its list of 15 questions, the research firm continued to press for more information over Australian-listed mining firm Yancoal, in which Noble holds a 13 per cent stake.
A Reuters story on Friday said that Mr Elman rejected all the allegations made by Iceberg as "inaccurate, unreliable and misleading" at the meeting. This is the first time he has spoken publicly on the matter.
Shares of Noble were trading at 89 Singapore cents, up 1.5 Singapore cents or 1.7 per cent. It remained one of the most actively traded stocks on Friday.