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Noble 'categorically rejects' Muddy Waters report as shares plunge

Noble 'categorically rejects' Muddy Waters report as shares plunge
Noble Group rejected report by Muddy Waters that caused its shares to plunge as much 9.5% on Thursday as “inaccurate, unreliable, and misleading”.

The Singapore-listed commodities and shipping group, which has already been hit by three reports from anonymous blogger Iceberg Research this year, was described by Muddy Waters that it “seems to exist solely to borrow and burn cash” in a report where it said it was “short” on Noble.

“With a company as complex and opaque as Noble, there is no way for investors to definitively answer certain key questions. It becomes a question of how much investors should trust Noble’s management to be straight with them. Noble’s management has adamantly insisted that its accounting is conservative, and by implication, is reflective of reality. We do not believe Noble’s management,” the report said.

In a rebuttal issued to the Singapore Exchange on Friday Noble said it “categorically rejected” the assertion that it exists to borrow and burn cash, or that its debt levels were unsustainable.

It also rejected that intra-quarter debt levels increase by +$3bn, and allegations it misled investors or manipulated the accounting in the acquisition and disposal of PT Alhasanie in Indonesia.

Noble’s shares were trading SGD0.855 on Friday morning.