Futures & Commodities

Noble Group to raise $500 million in rights issue, chairman to step down

Noble Group
Nicky Loh | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Noble Group is raising $500 million in a fully underwritten rights issue and its chairman and biggest shareholder Richard Elman will step down within 12 months, as the company struggles with weak markets and the fallout from an accounting dispute.

"The rights issue has been proposed to form part of the company's ongoing and prudent balance sheet management and further enhance the financial flexibility of the group," Asia's biggest commodity trader said in a statement on Friday.

The rights issue will be supported by Elman and China Investment Corp, an existing investor. The move comes after the CEO of Singapore-listed Noble unexpectedly quit this week.

Noble was accused in February 2015 by Iceberg Research of overstating its assets by billions of dollars, claims which Noble rejected. Since then, Noble's market value has plunged by about 75 percent to S$1.8 billion ($1.3 billion) and its debt financing costs have risen after it lost its investment grade rating.

Earlier this month, Noble finalized $3 billion in credit facilities, a crucial move allowing it to refinance all of its debt maturing this year as it reported a 62 percent fall in quarterly profit.

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