Noble shares down 1 per cent as commodities trader continues to battle accuser

SINGAPORE - Noble Group shares resumed their price drop Tuesday amid the ongoing war of words between the commodity firm and its critic Iceberg Research.

Shares of the commodity giant had lost one cents or 1.1 per cent to 90 cents as just after 1pm Tuesday, erasing some of yesterday's 4 per cent gain.

The rebound yesterday came as Noble launched legal actions at the Hong Kong High Court against Iceberg, which has so far released three reports claiming Noble is using accounting loopholes to exaggerate profit and asset value in order to hide losses and debts.

As a result, shares of Noble had fallen by as much as 30 per cent since mid February when the first report came out, to a 52-week low of 85 cents last Thursday.

In a statement filed to Singapore Exchange yesterday, Noble rubbished the claims, and identified the person behind Iceberg as former credit analyst Arnaud Vagner, who was sacked in June 2013 owing to "misconduct".

Noble is suing Mr Vagner and Enlighten Ace - which registered the Iceberg blog - for damages for conspiracy.

In its response to the Straits Times' queries yesterday, Iceberg did not confirm the identity of Mr Vagner, but stressed that its research is based on public information, and Noble has yet to properly address the concerns raised.