Business

Noble Group shares surge

SINGAPORE: Shares in embattled commodity trader Noble Group surged yesterday after an Abu Dhabi Financial Group equity fund disclosed that it had purchased a 5 per cent stake.

The investment follows news this week that Noble had gained an extension on a key debt deadline and was in "constructive" talks with potential investors, although it also pushed back payment of a coupon on a closely watched bond.

The equity fund, Goldilocks Investment Co, said in a filing it had bought the stake in purchases on Monday and Tuesday for almost $31 million.

Noble's stock jumped 16.5 per cent yesterday to $0.53, taking this week's gains to 63 per cent. Even so, the stock is still down some 70 per cent this year.

Questions over its accounting and a sharp downturn in commodity markets since 2012 have left Noble struggling to meet its debt obligations, forcing it to dramatically reduce the scale of its operations.

The company, which has stood by its accounts, has also been buffeted by credit downgrades, management upheavals and a series of writedowns and asset sales.

Ms Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia, said that while Goldilocks' stake purchase would provide some confidence in Noble in the short term, the impact would be limited.- REUTERS

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