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SGX continues to monitor Noble, notes plans for additional disclosure

Monday, August 3, 2015 - 12:01
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Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Monday said it would continue to closely monitor developments in Noble Group and noted the group's plans to provide additional disclosures.

SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX) on Monday said it would continue to closely monitor developments in Noble Group and noted the group's plans to provide additional disclosures.

"We stand ready to take action against any market misconduct including any suspected manipulation and will work with the relevant authorities as appropriate,'' SGX said.

The exchange noted Noble's announcements early Monday, which included plans to provide additional disclosures around the Yancoal valuation and on the inventory sales.

SGX had noted unusual trading of Noble shares on Jul 30 and had issued a public query to the Hong Kong-based company, which had replied that it was not aware of any reason that could explain share trading activities. SGX subsequently issued a "Trade with Caution" alert.

On Monday, Noble opened at S$0.475, and hit S$0.495 a share. At 11:50am, it was trading around S$0.485, up S$0.03, or 6.59 per cent, with more tha 80 million shares traded.

Noble said it would unveil its second quarter results earlier, on Aug 10 instead of Aug 13 to address market speculations and allegations. Aug 10 is a public holiday in Singapore.

It said its board been made aware of misleading information being spread about the company in what appears to be an attempt to manipulate its share price.

"The board has a duty to respond to these allegations. The board believes that all the misleading and untruthful information which has been disseminated will be fully and positively resolved by the publication of the company's Q2 results presentation; by the results of the previously announced PWC independent assurance report in connection with the carrying value of long term physical commodity contracts, and by our previously announced forthcoming "Investor Day",'' it said.

Additional disclosures around the Yancoal valuation and on the inventory sales will be released as part of Noble's Q2 results on Aug 10. The "Investor Day" in Singapore will be held on a date to be announced.

The troubled commodities group - which has seen its share price erode more than 60 per cent since February when allegations over its accounting policies first emerged - said it has been approached by a number of parties in terms of potential financings, and strategic and/or investment options, but there is no guarantee that any transaction will occur in the near future.

Addressing market rumours over its ability to fund the US$735 million bond redemption due on August 4, Noble said it has ample funds to do so and will still have readily available cash of well over US$1 billion after.

"In addition to this significant readily available cash, we would also like to provide the following update in terms of our liquidity and available credit as of the end of July: namely, we currently have around US$15 billion in bank lines,'' the company said.

Noble said "its Q2 performance is satisfactory and we can also confirm that our business in the first month of Q3 is ahead of our Q2".

On allegations of its growing need to depend on fair value gains for profitability, Noble said its net fair value gains have fallen again in the Q2 and details will given with Q2 results, whilst operating income and profits remain positive.

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