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UPDATE 1-Noble Group says debt restructuring talks with creditors constructive

constructive@

* Chairman declines to confirm report of debt restructure

* Talks with creditors have been going on about 2 months

* Conclusion to be reached in the near future, chairman says (Adds quotes, background)

SINGAPORE, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Struggling commodities trader Noble Group Ltd is negotiating with creditors to restructure its debt and talks with them have been "constructive", the company's chairman said.

Speaking at a shareholders meeting in Singapore on Thursday, Paul Brough declined to confirm a media report that Noble had reached an agreement with creditors to restructure about $3.5 billion in debt, but he said he hoped things were moving in the right direction.

"Those talks have been going for a couple of months," said Brough, a restructuring specialist who was appointed chairman this year.

"They have been constructive, they are moving forward, and I'm hopeful that we will reach a conclusion at some point in the near future."

Noble plunged into crisis in 2015 when Iceberg Research started questioning its accounts and triggered a share price collapse, credit downgrades and writedowns, as well as fund-raising and management changes. Noble has stood by its accounts.

Once a global commodity trader with ambitions to rival the likes of Glencore and Vitol, Noble has shrunk to its Asian roots as a hard commodities player, mainly involved in coal marketing and freight after a crisis-wracked three years forced it to slash jobs and sell assets.

Noble's market value has fallen to just $268 million from the $6 billion it commanded in February 2015.

Noble has been hemmed in by financing constraints - a major issue for trading houses - and has lost many traders, analysts and managers over the last few years.

Noble's financial woes resulted in its retreat from most financial commodity markets, including a lucrative Americas-focussed oil trading business and a smaller gas and power unit.

Noble reported a $1.2 billion net loss for the July-September quarter and flagged a weak outlook. It has bank debt of about $1.2 billion and bonds aggregating about $2.3 billion .

Shares of the company were up 15 percent on Thursday afternoon before trading was halted. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Writing by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Tom Hogue)