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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.

Apr 9, 2015

Muddy Waters shorts Noble Group on accounting issues; shares drop 9 percent

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Noble Group came under heightened scrutiny on Thursday after U.S. based Muddy Waters unveiled a short position in the Singapore-listed company, which is already under fire from an anonymous research outfit for its accounting policies.

Shares in Noble, one of Asia’s biggest commodity traders, tumbled as much as 9.3 percent to their lowest since September 2013 in heavy trade, and its bonds fell immediately after the report from investment research firm Muddy Waters.

Mar 31, 2015

Asia-Pacific M&As surge in first quarter on Li Ka-shing deal-making spree

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The deal-making spree of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing propelled the value of Asia-Pacific firms’ mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to a record 32 percent of the global total in the first quarter, kicking off what bankers see as a bumper year for Asian deals.

Li’s restructuring of his empire in January and multi-billion dollar purchases of British transport and telecoms firms is likely to be complemented by Chinese and Japanese companies vying for mining and energy targets, cheapened by falling commodity prices, bankers say.

Mar 31, 2015

Asia-Pacific M&As surge in Q1 on Li Ka-shing deal-making spree

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE March 31 (Reuters) – The deal-making
spree of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing propelled the value of
Asia-Pacific firms’ mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to a record
32 percent of the global total in the first quarter, kicking off
what bankers see as a bumper year for Asian deals.

Li’s restructuring of his empire in January and
multi-billion dollar purchases of British transport and telecoms
firms is likely to be complemented by Chinese and Japanese
companies vying for mining and energy targets, cheapened by
falling commodity prices, bankers say.

Mar 29, 2015

Singapore stands still as nation bids farewell to founding father Lee

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Grieving Singaporeans were joined by world leaders on Sunday to pay their final respects to the country’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, as the nation came to a near-halt to honor its “founding father”.

Tens of thousands of people waving flags braved heavy rain and lined the streets to catch a last glimpse of Lee as his coffin was taken by gun carriage on a 15 km procession through the streets of the country he helped build to his state funeral.

Mar 23, 2015

Noble Group seeks court ban on ‘misleading’ Iceberg Research reports

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Noble Group Ltd on Monday asked a court to ban an ex-analyst and a firm he is associated with from publishing what it said was false information, after a slew of reports by an obscure research firm shaved off as much as a third of the commodity trader’s market value over the past month.

The injunction, filed at a Hong Kong court, comes after Iceberg Research issued its third report about one of Asia’s biggest commodity traders, saying Noble had substantially understated its gross and net debt.

    • 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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