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Noble posts US$128m loss in Q2
TROUBLED commodities trader Noble Group posted a net loss of US$128.3 million for the second quarter ended June compared with a loss of US$1.75 billion a year ago.
Revenue fell 29 per cent to US$1.12 billion from US$1.58 billion. In the announcement, Noble said its results were impacted by expenses associated with the proposed financial restructuring and finance costs on existing senior debt.
For the half year period, the Hong-Kong based trader’s losses narrowed to US$199.8 million from US$1.88 billion on the back of a 35 per cent drop in revenue to US$2.33 billion.
No dividend was recommended for the period under review - the same as the previous period.
Meanwhile, the onslaught from Iceberg Research - the group’s harshest and tireless critic - took another twist with the research outfit this time calling on Noble’s investors - present and past - and former employees to join a legal action against the commodity trader to challenge its scheme of arrangement and start litigation against the parties responsible for what it alleged was “fraud”.
Iceberg Research said “many” of Noble’s investors, be it of shares, perpetuals or bondholders who have suffered massive losses have approached the firm on how they could sue Noble and its managers. “These investors are naturally exasperated,” it said.
“We have talked to experienced law firms. They are ready to represent the interests of these investors. Some securities holders already want to join this action. We encourage other investors to contact us,” it said, adding that litigation funders are also interested in financing the lawsuits, which would considerably lower litigation costs.
Shareholders of Noble are due to vote on Noble’s proposed restructuring scheme - this plan has already received the support from several key stakeholders including major shareholders and creditors - at a special general meeting set for Aug 27. If the company gets its way, it will mark the final stage of its long-awaited debt revamp that will also result in a “New Noble”.
The counter closed unchanged at 12.2 Singapore cents on Tuesday and was the sixth most actively traded with 24 million shares worth S$2.9 million done.