Noble Group Buys Back and Cancels $735 Million of its Bonds

Updated on

Noble Group Ltd. said it fully redeemed $735 million in bonds, bolstering repurchases of its own securities as Asia’s largest commodity trading company combats criticism of its accounting practices.

The Hong Kong-based company bought back $500 million in 4.875 percent notes due in 2015 and $235 million in 6.625 percent bonds due in 2020, according to a statement filed with the Singapore stock exchange, where it’s listed.

Noble Group still has 300 million Malaysian ringgit ($77 million) in 4.5 percent bonds due this year and $1.2 billion in 6.75 percent bonds due 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has three issuances due in 2016 which are denominated in yuan, ringgit, and Thai baht and whose principle totals about $319 million. Another $400 million issuance in the U.S. currency is due in 2018, the data show.

The company has also sold $400 million in perpetual bonds, which is a security that has no maturity date and can count as equity.

Buying back the bonds cuts Noble’s debt while drawing on cash reserves or bank lines. The company said last week that it is using excess capital for the repurchases. Noble has $15 billion in bank lines, the company said on Monday.

Noble’s stock has lost more than half its value since mid-February, when a group calling itself Iceberg Research began publishing criticism of the company’s accounting. Noble has rejected the assessment and says it will release an analysis of its practices by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP on Monday, when it reports earnings.

The shares rose 0.9 percent today to 57 Singapore cents as of 4:25 p.m.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the reference to outstanding bond amount for the years 2015 and 2020.)

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