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Noble posts loss of US$71.5m for Q1, hopes to publish shareholder circular by end-May

CONSTRAINTS on liquidity and availability of trade finance continued to dampen Noble's performance in its first quarter.

The group's net loss shrank to US$71.5 million, from a net loss of US$129.3 million in the previous year, it said in a Singapore Exchange (SGX) filing on Tuesday evening.

For the three months ended March 31, revenue tumbled 39 per cent to US$1.21 billion from the preceding year. The decrease in revenue was due to financing constraints even as global commodity prices strengthened in the quarter, it said.

The group noted that about 85 per cent of existing senior creditors have acceded to the restructuring support agreement, which proposes to halve its debts but leaves shareholders with only 15 per cent of the restructured entity.

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Chairman Paul Brough told analysts and media over an earnings call that the next key dates for its restructuring would be the publication of its circular to shareholders, and the convening of a special general meeting for shareholders to vote on the matter.

Asked for the expected timeline, Mr Brough said that he hopes to have it sent out by the end of May, but the timeline will depend on the approval of regulators. The group has submitted early drafts of the circular to the SGX.

Shares in Noble slipped 0.1 Singapore cent or 1.25 per cent to 7.9 Singapore cents on Tuesday before the results announcement.