Noble to announce earlier Q2 results and PwC review findings to address latest allegations

Noble Group's board has been made aware of misleading information being spread about the company in what appears to be an attempt to manipulate its share price.
Noble Group's board has been made aware of misleading information being spread about the company in what appears to be an attempt to manipulate its share price.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Noble Group said on Monday that it is not aware of any financial or material business issues that might have caused its recent share price decline and volatility but intends to bring forward the publication of its second quarter results and the findings of a PwC review to Aug 10 (from Aug 13) to address latest allegations.

The Singapore-listed commodity group said that on Friday, and over the weekend, its board has been made aware of misleading information being spread about the company "in what appears to be an attempt to manipulate its share price".

"The board has a duty to respond to these allegations. The board believes that all the misleading and untruthful information which has been disseminated will be fully and positively resolved by the publication of the company's Q2 results presentation; by the results of the previously announced PWC independent assurance report in connection with the carrying value of long term physical commodity contracts, and by our previously announced forthcoming "Investor Day"," it said.

""In order to allow all market participants to have the full benefit of this key information and to address the allegations as soon as possible, the Board of Directors has decided to bring forward the publication of the Q2 results, and the PWC report findings, to Monday, August 10th."

Both Aug 7 and 10 are public holidays in Singapore, and the Singapore Exchange will be closed.

Attacked by short-sellers, Noble has been aggressively buying back its own stock to shore up investor confidence, investing US$131 million (S$179 billion) since last month. The shares have fallen 24 per cent since June 12 and more than than 60 per cent since February after anonymous group Iceberg Research first queried its accounting policies.

Noble also addressed the latest allegations and market rumours about the company on Monday.

On market rumours over its ability to fund the US$735 million bond redemption due on August 4, Noble said it has ample funds to do so and will still have readily available cash of well over US$1 billion after. It said its available credit as of the end of July, it has US$15 billion in bank lines.

"Noble has sufficient cash and liquidity to meet its obligations and operate its businesses," it said.

It also added that its net fair value gains have fallen again in the second quarter, "contrary to the allegation of the company having or needing increasingly to depend on fair value gains for profitability."

Also contrary to "false rumours", Noble said "our Q2 performance is satisfactory and we can also confirm that our business in the first month of Q3 is ahead of our Q2."

Noble also said it has been approached by a number of parties in terms of potential financings, and strategic and/or investment options.

"Whilst there can be no guarantee that any transaction will occur in the near future, management and the board are committed to maximising the value of Noble for its shareholders and stakeholders," it said.