MAS says reviewing statements in research report on Noble; its shares open 1% higher

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it was reviewing a claim that Singapore-listed commodity training firm Noble Group used aggressive accounting to mislead investors. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it was reviewing a claim that Singapore-listed commodity training firm Noble Group used aggressive accounting to mislead investors. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it was reviewing a report by Iceberg Research that claimed commodity trading firm Noble Group used aggressive accounting to mislead investors.

"MAS will take appropriate action if there are breaches of the SFA," it said in an email to Reuters, referring to the Securities & Futures Act.

Responding to the MAS move, Noble said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange later on Wednedsay morning that it "welcomes this development and will fully co-operate with, and fully support, the MAS investigation."

The company, which is listed in Singapore but based in Hong Kong, has rejected Iceberg's allegations made in a report posted online on Sunday.

Noble shares opened 1 per cent higher on Wednesday, a day after the company issued a detailed rebuttal of the little-known research firm's report.

By 9:20am, they were up 2 cents, or 1.9 per cent, at $1.07. Noble shares lost nearly 13 per cent in the previous two trading sessions.

Iceberg's website contains no analyst names or links to research notes, apart from the 17-page report on Noble. Iceberg said it doesn't have any position in Noble's securities and doesn't work in tandem with funds.

Noble said on Tuesday that its board and management were comfortable that its balance sheet fairly represents its book value under International Financial Reporting Standards.