Iceberg takes aim at Noble ahead of Thursday AGM

RESEARCH outfit Iceberg Research, a vocal critic of Noble Group, has released a list of questions it said it has for the commodities trader ahead of Noble's annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday.

The issues it raised range from recent developments - such as a "very high" financing cost for Noble's new unsecured revolving credit facility, as well as a Hong Kong court's rejection in March of Noble's bid for summary judgement against the former employee said to be behind Iceberg - and older topics such as Yancoal, which Iceberg has said was overvalued on Noble's books.

"Banks have dramatically reassessed the counterparty risk of Noble after the company finally started to face the reality ... The commodity industry is a low margin business. What ROE does Noble expect with so high financing costs?" Iceberg said.

It added that the Hong Kong High Court "has recently ordered that Noble pays a substantial amount of money to Iceberg after an unreasonable application made by Noble was once again rejected by the Court", but did not specify details.

The 13 questions are on Iceberg's website.

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