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Noble's Q1 net profit falls 62% on constrained capital

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A PRIORITY on liquidity and constrained capital led earnings for Noble Group to slump 62 per cent in the first quarter.

A PRIORITY on liquidity and constrained capital led earnings for Noble Group to slump 62 per cent in the first quarter.

The largest commodity trader in Asia recorded a net profit of US$40.5 million for the three months ended March 31, down from US$106.6 million a year ago.

Revenue fell 32 per cent to US$11.4 billion.

The group, which reduced net debt by US$281 million in the quarter to US$3.7 billion, said the first quarter had been about establishing a strong foundation for its operations going forward.

Separately, the group also said that it has successfully arranged for two credit facilities amounting to US$3 billion.

These comprise a US$1 billion syndicated unsecured 364-day revolving loan facility that was supported by 25 banks, and a US$2 billion revolving borrowing base facility to be used by Noble's US subsidiaries.

Noble did not reveal the cost and terms of the loans, but a Reuters report on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources, said that Noble will pay an interest rate of 225 basis points over Libor on the US$1 billion loan, more than twice the 85 basis points it paid a year ago.