Noble Group shares dive on critical Muddy Waters report
Asian commodity trading giant Noble Group hit back Thursday after U.S. shortseller Muddy Waters accused the firm of existing “solely to borrow and burn cash,” in an attack that saw its shares dive.
It follows earlier allegations of irregular accounting practices at the Hong Kong-based company.
“The management completely rejects the allegations,” Noble said in a brief statement to the Singapore stock exchange — where the company is listed — responding to the Muddy Waters report.
The statement said the company was “studying the report in detail.”
Noble share prices tumbled on the Singapore Exchange, closing 5.5 percent lower at 86 Singapore cents (64 U.S. cents) after falling by as much as 9.3 percent following Muddy Waters’ disclosure that it was taking a short position on the company.
Muddy Waters described Noble as “complex and opaque” in its report.
“It becomes a question of how much investors should trust Noble’s management to be straight with them,” it added.
A public relations officer for Noble said he could make no further comment when contacted by AFP.
Muddy Waters was also behind a 2012 attack on Singapore-based farm commodities supplier Olam.
Olam’s shares prices tumbled after Muddy Waters alleged the company was in danger of insolvency.
But Olam weathered the storm after Singapore’s powerful state investment agency Temasek Holdings backed the firm.