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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.

Mar 19, 2015

Suitors circle Noble after commodity trader’s $1.8 billion market plunge

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Singapore-listed Noble Group’s (NOBG.SI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) 30 percent share-slump over the past month has thrust it onto the radar screens of Asian companies that want a bigger clout in global commodities trading, people familiar with the matter said.

Chinese and Japanese companies have held informal talks with investment banks about potentially making approaches to Hong Kong-headquartered Noble, a Singapore-based banker aware of the matter told Reuters, even though founder and top shareholder Richard Elman has been keen on the group staying independent.

Mar 17, 2015

Ex-Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew’s condition worsens

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The health condition of Singapore’s founding father and long-serving former leader Lee Kuan Yew, who has been in hospital with severe pneumonia for nearly six weeks, has worsened, the government said on Tuesday.

Lee, 91, is being treated at downtown Singapore General Hospital where he has been on a ventilator. At the end of last month, officials said his condition was improving, but further statements said there had been no change.

Mar 12, 2015

Noble’s concession gives clout to maverick researchers

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Noble Group’s (NOBG.SI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) vow to be more open after a blogger attacked its accounting is a testament to the growing clout of independent researchers, who have shaken up Asian corporate practices in a way investors and brokerage analysts never could.

Researchers and short-sellers, who bet on stock prices falling, highlight potentially controversial governance and rely on securities traders and media to spread the word for maximum impact. The approach makes up for the lack of an activist investor culture in Asia, where firms’ primary shareholders are often so big that smaller voices go unheard.

Mar 5, 2015

Noble defends timing of writedown, to offer details of accounting

SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) – Commodity trading house Noble
Group Ltd has defended its decision to book an
impairment charge on the day it reported earnings, and said it
would detailing its recently criticised accounting methods in a
bid to reassure markets.

The Singapore-listed group, one of Asia’s biggest commodity
traders, has seen $1 billion wiped off its market value since
Iceberg Research last month said Noble’s accounting methods
inflated the value of its assets – a claim Noble rejected and
blamed on a disgruntled former junior employee.

Feb 27, 2015

CEO exit seen perfect time for Singapore bourse to lose regulatory role

SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX)
may have just begun its search for a new CEO but
investors and brokers already know what change they want to see:
the bourse stripped of its regulatory powers and a rebuilding of
its stock market business.

Unlike other major financial markets, Singapore does not
have a dedicated securities watchdog. Instead SGX is the
front-line regulator and is in turn regulated by the central
bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Feb 27, 2015

Noble Group shares tumble to 6-week low as accounting questions persist

SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Noble Group Ltd
shares slumped on Friday after the Asian commodities trader
swung to an unexpected quarterly loss due to asset write-downs,
and as investors fretted over a research report questioning its
accounting methods.

Noble’s shares dropped as much as 7 percent, taking the
total decline to 19 percent in a rout that has wiped about $1.1
billion from its market value since Feb. 13 on concerns about
how the company is valuing its assets in the face of declining
commodity prices.

Feb 26, 2015

Noble posts surprise Q4 loss, rejects accounting fraud allegations

SINGAPORE, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Asian commodities trader Noble
Group Ltd reported its first quarterly loss in three
years and took impairment charges of over $400 million, days
after it was hit by allegations of aggressive accounting from an
obscure research firm.

The Singapore-listed company said it had swung to a
fourth-quarter net loss of $240 million compared to a profit of
$117 million a year ago. The loss, which analysts said was
unexpected, was the first since the quarter ended September
2011, Reuters data shows.

Feb 24, 2015

Singapore Exchange CEO to step down after drop in trading volume

SINGAPORE, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX)
said on Tuesday that Magnus Bocker will step down as
chief executive on June 30 at the end of his contract.

Singapore is Asia’s leading venue for foreign exchange and
has seen strong growth in derivatives trading, but the average
daily value of shares traded on its exchange has dropped below
that of Thailand and trails far behind Hong Kong and Tokyo.

    • 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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