SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Several traders from Noble Group, including its head of Asia energy and metals, have left the company, trade sources said on Thursday, a month after its chief executive quit.
The latest staff departures point to a hollowing out of its oil trading team, which expanded less than a year ago, adding to the embattled commodity merchant's woes.
Noble ran into trouble as its share price collapsed and debt ratings were downgraded after a research firm questioned its accounts in February 2015.
The company's head of Asia energy and metals, Ouyang Xiuzhang, and its middle distillates team in Singapore led by Teng Siong Khoo, have left the company, trade sources said.
Mr Ouyang hired the team to trade gasoil and jet fuel in September last year when Noble was expanding its oil team to focus on growing regional demand.
Noble declined to comment. Mr Ouyang, also the global head of base metals and a senior representative of China at Noble, and Mr Khoo could not be reached for comment.
Noble's crude oil traders are still with the company, the sources said.
The Singapore-listed company's shares were little changed on Thursday, hovering near 13-year lows.
Most of the traders are expected to join private equity-backed Freepoint Commodities in a few months' time, the sources said.
Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, Freepoint started a trading office in Singapore in 2012 with one trader who left the company earlier this year, the sources said. Freepoint did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
Mr Ouyang was formerly from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs while Mr Khoo was previously from BP.