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Noble Group chairman Elman rejects improper accounting allegations
[SINGAPORE] Noble Group Ltd chairman Richard Elman rejected all allegations made by previously unknown firm Iceberg Research as inaccurate, unreliable and misleading, in his first public comments on the issue.
Nothing that Noble has done has violated rules, Mr Elman said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Singapore on Friday, which Reuters attended. “We consider the Iceberg matter finished.”
Mr Elman said the company, one of Asia’s biggest commodities traders, is drawing a line on the matter and remains focused on running the business. “I feel grieved about what happened in the last two months,” he said, adding that Noble is in a robust financial condition.
Mr Elman is Noble’s founder and owns about a fifth of the company’s shares.
Noble shares were up 1.7 per cent at 0239 GMT on Friday, erasing the previous day’s fall.
The shares have slumped by as much as 32 per cent, or S$2.56 billion, since mid-February after Iceberg Research alleged Noble had inflated asset values by billions of dollars through aggressive accounting. Noble has rejected the allegations.
The Singapore-listed shares have also been hit by a quarterly loss.
Noble has linked Iceberg to an employee it fired in 2013 and started legal action against him in Hong Kong.