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Hot stock: Noble inches up in morning trading

Commodity trader Noble Group gained 0.565 per cent on Monday morning.

COMMODITY trader Noble Group gained 0.565 per cent on Monday morning.

On Friday, Noble's CEO Yusuf Alireza and executive director and president William Randall were respectively vested with 4.29 million and 2.21 million Noble shares.

After the vesting of shares award, Mr Alireza's stake stood at 0.4026 per cent, comprising 0.1378 per cent of direct interest and 0.2648 of indirect interest. Mr Randall's stake stood at 0.4921 per cent, comprising 0.3834 per cent of direct interest and 0.1087 of indirect interest.

As of 11.20am on Monday, Noble was trading up 0.5 cent at S$0.89, with about 8.67 million shares switching hands.

The group had held its AGM on Friday, where shareholders passed all 12 resolutions in the order of Noble's FY14 audited financial statements and the reports of its directors and auditors.

Despite the small gain, Noble's share price is still down about 26 per cent since Feb 15, the day anonymous outfit Iceberg Research started launching a series of attacks against the group's accounting practices.

In early-April, short-seller firm Muddy Waters followed suit, issuing a "short" position on Noble. Noble has since refuted both allegations.

At Friday's AGM, Noble's chairman and largest shareholder, Richard Elman, told shareholders: "We consider the Iceberg matter finished. We have started legal proceedings and look forward to challenging their inaccurate, unreliable and misleading claims in a public court."

"We will not be revisiting details of these allegations at this meeting," he added.

After the AGM, Noble's shareholder and veteran investor, Mano Sabnani, told BT that "it is wrong" for management not to discuss the Iceberg and Muddy Waters issue. He said: "It is an issue that has affected investors, it has affected share price, so how can you say that we are not prepared to discuss it at all?"

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