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Update: SGX issues trading query for Noble shares

The Singapore bourse asked Noble Group if it was aware of any reason for the sharp movement in its stock price, after the commodity trader's shares slumped nearly 12 per cent to a six-and-a-half year low on Thursday.

[SINGAPORE] Noble Group Ltd said it is not aware of any information that could explain the 14 per cent tumble in its shares on Thursday, after the Singapore bourse queried the sharp share move of Asia's biggest commodity trader.

This is the third query issued to Noble in the past six months and comes as the stock has slumped by more than half since mid-February, hit by a critical accounting report from Iceberg Research and later echoed by short-seller Muddy Waters.

"The company is not aware of any information not previously announced concerning the company, its subsidiaries or associated companies which might explain the trading," Noble said in a statement.

The Singapore Exchange said shareholders and potential investors should exercise caution when dealing in the securities of Noble. "The exchange will investigate all possible transgressions and will work with the relevant regulatory agencies to pursue actions to maintain a fair, orderly and transparent market," SGX said. SGX routinely uses such wording in all its queries about unusual share moves.

Noble's stock dipped to S$0.505, the lowest since November 2008. The company, which has rejected claims that it inflated assets by billions of dollars, said this month its board recommended a third-party review of its accounting practices.

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A new committee of four independent board members has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to review valuations of some of Noble's assets.


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