Noble says did not dodge shareholders' queries at AGM, will increase disclosures starting with Q1 results

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Noble Group issued an announcement on Wednesday morning to "clarify certain issues" relating to the company's annual general meeting last Friday (April 17).

Noble said that an article in the Business Times following the AGM, which said that Noble's founder and chairman Richard Elman had "repeatedly dodged shareholders' queries on the group's accounting practices" was not correct.

Noble said all shareholders' queries were answered, either by Mr Elman, CEO Yusuf Alireza, or independent director Irene Lee.

"In addition, several directors stayed behind after the AGM and spoke to interested shareholders personally," said Noble. It added that a copy of the AGM transcript has been posted on the company's website.

Noble also said that going forwards, it will "continue to respond to all valid questions raised by stakeholders", and plans to increase transparency.

Noble said it plans to provide more disclosures starting with its first-quarter results to be announced on May 7. It said it is considering disclosures for net fair value gains/losses by region and product.

The exact format of the disclosures will be determined after receiving feedback from key stakeholders, it added.

The commodities trader also elaborated on how its valuation of its Yancoal associate was determined. A value in use calculation at a discount rate of 9 per cent was used, it said. "Our impairment approach is consistent with commodities companies' practices, and, like many commodities companies, we have been recognizing impairments as commodity prices have fallen," Noble said.

Noble also reiterated that its mark-to-market values will be realised in cash. On its inventory sales, Noble said the full risks and rewards are passed on to the bank.

Noble closed down 1.5 cents at 87 cents on Tuesday.