[HONG KONG] Standard & Poor's said it had revised the rating outlook on commodities trader Noble Group to negative from stable, citing a weakened trading risk position that could spark greater earnings volatility.
The agency affirmed Noble's rating of BBB-minus, the lowest investment grade rating. A downgrade would take the company's rating into the junk category.
S&P said Noble's trading risk position had weakened on account of growth in fair value gains from long-term commodity contracts over the past three years.
It said "the long-dated nature of these contracts creates a mismatch between profit recognition and cash realisation".