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Singapore port authority denies Iceberg Research claims on Noble unit

[SINGAPORE] Singapore's port authority has denied allegations of misconduct made by Iceberg Research against a subsidiary of commodities trader Noble Group, which is taking legal action against the arcane research group.

Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), in an emailed statement to Reuters, said it had in 2013 received information "relating to the conduct of Noble Resources International Pte Ltd, but did not find any malpractices by the company".

Singapore-based Noble Resources used to trade and supply shipping fuel oil in the world's largest refuelling port before exiting the market in 2013.

The allegations against Noble Resources were made in the latest of three reports by Iceberg Research, which says that Noble Group, one of Asia's biggest commodity traders, substantially understated its gross and net debt.

Noble has rejected the claims, and this week asked a Hong Kong court to ban an ex-analyst and a firm he is associated with from publishing what it said was false information.

Noble Group's market value has fallen by about US$1.8 billion since Iceberg Research began publishing its reports.

Representatives of Iceberg Research did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the MPA statement. The group has declined to give any details about its members or organisation.


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