1. Noble Group launches external probe after researchers attack accounts

Noble Group launches external probe after researchers attack accounts

Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd said on Tuesday it had hired external auditors to review the way it values its contracts after a research firm alleged Asia's biggest commodities trader was inflating its assets through aggressive accounting.

By: | Published: July 7, 2015 8:50 AM

Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd said on Tuesday it had hired external auditors to review the way it values its  contracts after a research firm alleged Asia’s biggest commodities trader was inflating its assets through aggressive accounting.

Noble’s shares have fallen by as much as 48 percent since Iceberg Research issued its first report attacking the company’s fair value, mark-to-market (MTM) accounting methods and lack of transparency.

Noble has rejected the allegations and started legal action in Hong Kong against a former employee it had fired in 2013 and has said was linked to Iceberg.

In Tuesday’s statement, it said its board of directors had set up an independent committee that appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to look into its MTM models, valuations and governance framework.

“On completion of PwC’s review, the committee shall report to the board and a summary of the review will be released,” Noble said. Ernst & Young is currently Noble’s auditor.

Hong Kong-headquartered Noble is one of the largest Asian companies ever to be targeted by a slew of negative reports from independent researchers questioning its financials.

On Tuesday, Noble’s shares were down 2.1 percent in a flat market.

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