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EY's audits on Noble's coal unit under scrutiny: authorities

THE audits conducted by accountants from the Singapore arm of EY on a subsidiary of commodity trader Noble Group for five financial years from 2012 to 2016 have come under review in a criminal probe. 

The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have directed EY (Singapore) to produce documents in relation to the audit of Noble Resources International Pte Ltd (NRI), the two authorities said in a joint statement with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra).

Acra added that it has notified EY (Singapore) that it is commencing inspection on the audits on NRI for the financial years ended Dec 31, 2012 to Dec 31, 2016.

NRI is the business unit that handled most of Noble’s coal trading activities.

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The investigation into Noble was announced last week as the trader was about to wrap up a debt revamp exercise that will hand control of its business to a group of creditors.

MAS, CAD and Acra have been working since 2015 to review allegations by various parties against Noble. 

In a joint statement issued on Nov 20 , the three authorities cited a review into substantial write-downs announced by Noble in late 2017 and early 2018 and other information as providing the basis for starting overt investigations into potential breaches with Singapore’s law.