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Broker's take: Noble Group likely able to refinance its borrowings

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Noble Group will be able to refinance its upcoming borrowing base facility in June, DBS analyst Mervin Song believes, contrary to the view of others.

NOBLE Group will be able to refinance its upcoming borrowing base facility in June, DBS analyst Mervin Song believes, contrary to the view of others.

The research unit, however, is suspending coverage on Noble given uncertainty over the outcome of the group's strategic review, the impact from the recent credit rating downgrades, as well as risks that it continues to report losses into 2018.

These factors make it difficult to anticipate the potential outcomes for Noble, Mr Song said.

At 10.09 am, the commodity trader was trading half a cent lower at S$0.375.

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Market voices on:

"Some market participants have expressed doubt over Noble's ability to secure sufficient credit facilities to remain a going concern. However, in our view, as long as (Chinese sovereign wealth fund) CIC remains a shareholder, which may provide some hope for Noble's bankers that a key backer will provide support in the worst-case scenario, Noble should be able to refinance its credit facilities, albeit smaller in size and with higher borrowing costs."

He added: "In addition, by lending on a secured inventory basis, we believe the various banks should have sufficient collateral to continue backing Noble."

He also believes that given the negative sentiment surrounding Noble at the moment, a potential investment by a strategic partner will provide confidence to investors and bankers about the strength of its business model and value of its assets.

That said, given Noble's low share price, there are some risks that a strategic investor may offer unfavourable terms, which may dilute existing shareholdings in the near term.

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