Noble Group seeks court ban on ‘misleading’ Iceberg Research reports

(Reuters) By Anshuman Daga and Clare Baldwin – Noble Group Ltd on Monday asked a court to ban an ex-analyst and a firm he is associated with from publishing what it said was false information, after a slew of reports by an obscure research firm shaved off as much as a third of the commodity trader’s market value over the past month. The injunction, filed at a Hong Kong court, comes after Iceberg Research issued its third report about one of Asia‘s biggest commodity traders, saying Noble had substantially understated its gross and net debt. Hong Kong-headquartered Noble has repeatedly rejected Iceberg’s claims, but its market value has shrunk by as much as $1.8 billion since the mysterious research group accused it in mid-February of inflating asset values by billions of dollars through aggressive accounting. Pressure also mounted on Noble after it unexpectedly reported its first quarterly loss in three years, and the slump in its share price has raised the prospect of a possible takeover, bankers told Reuters. The stock was trading 5 percent higher on Monday. In the legal writ, Noble named the defendants as Arnaud Vagner, a Hong Kong-based credit analyst it said it had hired in … continue reading

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