Noble shares gain some ground after credit facility extended

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 19, 2017 09:52 hrs
FILE PHOTO: Noble Resources signage is pictured at office in Singapore

SINGAPORE  - Shares in Singapore-listed commodity trader Noble Group had some respite on Monday, climbing 9 percent after a source familiar with the matter said its creditors have agreed to push back a key repayment deadline by four months.

Battered by concerns over its financial strength in recent weeks, the firm has been in negotiations with banks over a $2 billion credit facility, which is due to be rolled over by the end of this week.

The expiry of the credit line has been extended until October, the source said on Friday. In exchange, creditors have asked Noble to find a strategic investor.

Noble declined to comment.

But the outlook for the firm remains grim.

The value of its shares has been almost wiped out, collapsing from a 2011 peak on accusations of murky accounting and hit with the impact of a broad commodity downturn. The company has stood by its accounts.

Financial woes have worsened this year after Noble posted surprise quarterly loss that was followed by warnings from ratings agencies about its ability to service debt.

Noble shares rose 9.2 percent to S$0.35 in thin morning trade.

Its 2022s bonds are trading half a point lower at 37/39 cents on the dollar, while its credit default swaps are implying a high default probability of 94 percent. 

"While it is certainly a positive sounding headline, I am not sure it is the grand type of event that will arrest the negative momentum afflicting the company," said Todd Schubert, head of fixed income research at Bank of Singapore.

"First, it is only four months and gives the company limited breathing room. Also, we do not know either the pricing/terms of the extension."

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