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.