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May 5, 2015

Noble Group Q1 profit slumps, disclosure levels improve

SINGAPORE, May 5 (Reuters) – Noble Group, under
scrutiny for its accounting methods, provided more disclosures
about its fair value accounting after reporting a decline in
quarterly profit, but the move was unlikely to immediately
soothe worried investors.

At its earnings call late on Tuesday, Chief Executive Yusuf
Alireza gave an upbeat view on the outlook for Asia’s biggest
commodity trader by sales but highlighted challenging conditions
in markets including that for energy coal.

Apr 21, 2015

Moving HQ to Singapore makes sense for Standard Chartered: Aberdeen’s Young

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has a strong business case to move its headquarters from London to Singapore and save millions in taxes as, unlike HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), it doesn’t have a banking network in the UK, Aberdeen Asset Management said.

“It’s a far clearer business decision for Standard Chartered as really a far purer emerging market bank with no banking network in the UK, no banking network in Europe,” Hugh Young, managing director of Aberdeen Asia Management Asia, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

Apr 21, 2015

Moving HQ to Singapore makes sense for StanChart – Aberdeen’s Young

SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered
has a strong business case to move its headquarters from London
to Singapore and save millions in taxes as, unlike HSBC
, it doesn’t have a banking network in the UK, Aberdeen
Asset Management said.

“It’s a far clearer business decision for Standard Chartered
as really a far purer emerging market bank with no banking
network in the UK, no banking network in Europe,” Hugh Young,
managing director of Aberdeen Asia Management Asia, told Reuters
in an interview on Tuesday.

Apr 21, 2015

Aberdeen, Blackrock flag risks in frothy Chinese stock markets

SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) – Aberdeen Asset Management’s
head of Asian operations warned on Tuesday that Chinese money
was moving “a bit like a casino” in domestic stock markets,
while BlackRock called on China to reform its capital markets
further to avert boom and bust scenarios.

China stocks have jumped nearly 80 percent since
November to trade near seven-year highs. On Monday, Shanghai
Stock Exchange trade surpassed 1 trillion yuan ($161 billion)
for the first time, making the bourse the world’s biggest in
terms of turnover ahead of the New York Stock Exchange.

Apr 20, 2015

Affinity Equity hires Credit Suisse’s Asia M&A co-head – sources

SINGAPORE, April 20 (Reuters) – Private equity firm Affinity
Equity Partners has hired Ronnie Behar, a senior Asia-Pacific
M&A executive at Credit Suisse, as its Southeast Asia
head, sources said, highlighting a flurry of changes at major
investment banks.

Behar, who has been the Swiss bank’s co-head of M&A in the
region since 2011, has worked on several major Southeast Asian
deals in the past, such as the power asset sales of Singapore
state investor Temasek Holdings.

Apr 17, 2015

Shareholders overwhelmingly back embattled Noble Group’s accounts

SINGAPORE, April 17 (Reuters) – An overwhelming majority of
Noble Group Ltd’s shareholders approved its latest
annual accounts, providing a measure of backing to the
commodities trader as it battles allegations of improper
accounting made by some research firms.

The resolution to approve its financial statements for 2014
was supported by 99.92 percent of votes cast at Noble’s annual
shareholders’ meeting in Singapore on Friday, which Reuters
attended.

Apr 16, 2015

Seeking an edge, short-sellers turn to behavioural analysis

SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) – When Muddy Waters unveiled a
short position on Noble Group last week, it didn’t
just scrutinise the commodity trader’s accounts. It also hired a
behavioural analysis firm run by former CIA staff to analyse how
Noble’s executives talked on a recent earnings call.

This type of analysis is the latest unorthodox research
method used by short-sellers and independent research firms to
boost the impact of reports they issue that challenge companies’
accounting methods.

Apr 13, 2015

Proxy adviser ISS calls for Noble Group audit committee overhaul

SINGAPORE, April 13 (Reuters) – Influential proxy adviser
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has called for major
changes to Singapore-listed Noble Group’s audit
committee, weeks after the commodity trader denied claims of
improper accounting made by Iceberg Research.

“In light of the allegations made by Iceberg, it is
imperative that the company’s audit committee be comprised
entirely of non-executive directors, chaired by a director who
is not overcommitted so as to help restore investor confidence
in the company’s auditing and financial reporting practices,”
ISS said in a report.

Apr 13, 2015

Proxy advisory firm ISS criticizes Noble Group on audit committee

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has criticized the composition of Singapore-listed Noble Group’s audit committee, weeks after the commodity trader denied claims of improper accounting made by Iceberg Research.

“In light of the allegations made by Iceberg, it is imperative that the company’s audit committee be comprised entirely of non-executive directors, chaired by a director who is not overcommitted so as to help restore investor confidence in the company’s auditing and financial reporting practices,” ISS said in a report.

Apr 10, 2015

Noble rejects Muddy Waters’ claims; shares recover partially

SINGAPORE, April 10 (Reuters) – Embattled Noble Group
issued a detailed rebuttal of allegations of improper
accounting and unsustainable debt made by U.S.-based short
seller Muddy Waters, saying it has not misled investors and has
a strong balance sheet.

“We categorically reject their allegations as inaccurate,
unreliable and misleading,” Noble said in a statement regarding
a report from Muddy Waters released on Thursday.

    • About Anshuman

      "Anshuman Daga has been with Reuters since 13 years, most of that tracking companies and equity markets. After joining in Mumbai, Anshuman did a stint in India's technology hub of Bangalore and then spent a few years covering European stock markets in London. He moved to Singapore in 2008, with a focus on news coverage of Southeast Asia and technology stories from Asia."
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