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Noble posts largest annual loss recorded on the Singapore Exchange

Noble Group chalked up an unfortunate record yesterday, posting the largest annual net loss of any Singapore-listed company ever.

Once Asia’s largest commodities group, Noble has been brought to its knees in the last couple of years. Its $4.94bn net loss for 2017 announced on Wednesday saw the Hong Kong-based group admit that it might struggle to carry on as a going concern.

Noble Group warned that whether it’s able to continue as a going concern depends upon obtaining the necessary approvals for the restructuring plan, complying with the terms of new senior debt instruments, and improving its gross margins while reducing expenses.

Chairman Paul Brough said he had “no magic pill” for investors facing hefty losses under a planned restructuring that would halve Noble’s $3.5bn debt. The alternative he told Bloomberg was a court-driven insolvency process that would be “very damaging indeed”.

“What we’re focused on is trying to get all of the parties over the line,” Brough told Bloomberg. “I do accept that it requires an allocation of some pain and discomfort, but I’m afraid that there’s no magic pill to solve it.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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