Noble Group promises more transparency after attack on accounting

By Anshuman Daga and Rachel Armstrong SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) – Embattled commodity trader Noble Group Ltd pledged to provide more disclosures and issued a strong rebuttal on Thursday to claims of improper accounting made by an anonymous research firm. The Singapore-listed group, one of Asia‘s biggest commodity traders, has seen $1 billion wiped off its market value since Iceberg Research said last month Noble’s accounting methods inflated the value of its assets – a claim Noble has rejected and blamed on a disgruntled former junior employee. “Noble has come a long way over the last few years in terms of that transparency, but more is required,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Alireza, said on Thursday in a 11-page statement. [bit.ly/1EitKy5 ] “Most of our competitors are private and release very little public information, but our experience over the last two weeks is a strong message, that as a public company, we need to accelerate down our current path of increased transparency,” he said. Pressure on Noble exacerbated when the company last week unexpectedly reported its first quarterly loss in three years, hit by nearly $440 million in writedowns after a second report from Iceberg. Hong Kong-based Noble has … continue reading

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