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Noble’s stock should be suspended: Michael Dee

Singapore: One of the chief critics of the embattled Singapore-listed Noble Group, Michael Dee, has contacted Splash to further his assault on the commodities giant, calling for Noble’s stock to be suspended.

Dee yesterday forced Noble’s CEO Yusuf Alireza to issue an open letter denying many of the allegations put forward by Dee, who has also called for Noble’s founder and chairman, Richard Elman, 75, to resign.

Dee claimed Noble has overvalued Australian miner Yancoal on its balance sheet and that it has off-balance sheet repos, charges Alireza strenuously denied, while Elman told Splash yesterday he had no intention of quitting the company.

Dee, formerly Morgan Stanley’s CEO for Southeast Asia, and a senior managing director of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings, contacted Splash overnight and blasted both Elman and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for not demanding greater transparency from its listed companies.

Dee said Elman operates as an “imperial chairman’, that he exerts too much influence, is arrogant and unwilling to accept criticism.

SGX came in for withering criticism too from Dee. “SGX as usual is taking a nap on the job,” Dee said, adding that the exchange had no meaningful investor protection culture. He called for the exchange to suspend Noble’s stock until all the questions posed by him and other critics have been fully answered.

Noble’s valuation of Australian miner Yancoal, in which it has a 13% stake, lies at the heart of Dee’s case against Noble.

“To Yancoal is the canary in this deep dark coal mine of market to market valuations,” he said.

Noble has seen its stock price fall 40% in recent months over questionable accounting allegations that started from a former employee.

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. I’m not paid by anyone nor am I short the stock. All views are my own and are just that, my opinions. Noble can clear all this up by simply and cleRly providing the data I and others have asked for. But Noble won’t do it and hence I won’t change my views unless they provide the evidence. 80-90% of Nobles shareholders equity is in Mark-to-market valuations. If they can’t justify the easiest one, Yancoal, then we shouldn’t believe any of them. The stock is falling because they don’t make Money and no one trusts their book value. Pure and simple.

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