Noble Rejects Report Questioning Accounting as Shares DropJonathan Burgos
Noble Group Ltd.’s shares lost S$640 million ($472 million) in market value today after rejecting a report by Iceberg Research questioning the commodity company’s accounting practices.
“The company completely rejects the allegations,” Noble said in a statement to Singapore Exchange Ltd. on Monday, after the bourse operator queried the share-price move. “All material information to which Iceberg Research refers is in the public domain. There has been no material adverse change since the company last reported.”
Noble fell 7.9 percent to S$1.11 at the close, its biggest decline since November 2011. About 63.6 million shares changed hands, 290 percent higher than the three-month daily average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The report by Iceberg “certainly caused a significant reaction,” Nicholas Teo, an analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said by phone.
“The market is jumping on this just like the Muddy Waters influence that we saw in previous times,” Teo said, referring to a report by short-seller Muddy Waters LLC in 2012 that questioned accounting methods at Olam International Ltd. “Whether there’s any truth to it or not, I cannot verify.”
Olam slumped 21 percent over a four-week period after Carson Block, the founder of Muddy Waters, said in November 2012 that he was betting against shares of the Singaporean trader of agricultural products because he questioned the accounting methods used. The shares have since recovered.
The website of Iceberg Research contains no analyst names, phone numbers or links to research notes, apart from the 17-page report on Noble.