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TRADING in shares of embattled commodities firm Noble Group was halted a minute after noon on Friday, pending announcement of a "major transaction".
Noble did not provide additional details, but it has been in negotiations with Vitol Group to sell its oil trading unit. In an interview with Bloomberg this month, Vitol's chief executive Ian Taylor said the transaction is "very, very complicated" and may not end in a deal.
Noble shares traded at 38 Singapore cents, down 2.6 per cent or 1 Singapore cent on the day, before the halt.
The sale of the oil trading business of mainboard-listed Noble Group, once Asia's largest commodity trader, comes amid some US$1 billion of debt under its secured credit facilities. The largest chunk matures in mid-January.