Dry CargoGreater China

Noble secures lifeline despite impending $5bn loss

Embattled Hong Kong commodities house Noble Group has reached a deal with senior creditors and ING as fronting bank for a three-year committed $700m trade finance facility. Noble announced the financial breakthrough at the same time as warning its full year losses for 2017 could be as high as $4.975bn, after a damaging final quarter.

The group said it remained confident it could push through with a complex restructuring support agreement with its stakeholders.

Paul Brough, Noble’s chairman, said: “Following a challenging 2017, we are looking forward to the final phase of our restructuring, and the creation of a new Noble as a focused and appropriately financed Group set to capitalise on the high-growth Asian Commodities sector.”

At the end of last month, Noble came to an agreement with creditors to restructure $3.5bn of its debt in exchange for 70% of the company, with existing equity holders’ combined stake diluted to only 10%.

Noble was founded in 1986 by Richard Elman. It has been in trouble since 2015 when Iceberg Research started questioning its accounts. The group’s market value has tumbled from more than $6bn to less than $250m today.

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.


  1. We do not believe Noble can get the support of more than 10% of 2018 bondholders.
    Noble still want to use the illegal way to pass restructuring.
    Our member have asked Noble four questions through SIAS last week.
    The details please see Facebook of Noble Group 2018 bond Creditors Alliance.

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