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After First Loss Since 1998, Noble Group Now Faces Debt Test

  • Commodity trader posts $1.7 billion loss after writedowns
  • Needs to refinance $1.2 billion credit facililty by May
Updated on

After Noble Group Ltd.’s first annual loss in almost two decades, the focus is now on whether the commodity trader can sustain cash flows and persuade banks to keep lending the money it needs to fund operations.

The $1.7 billion loss caps a turbulent year for Noble Group that saw its shares slump and debt rating cut to junk. The trader has been hammered by criticisms of its accounting and a commodities plunge that left it with $1.9 billion in writedowns after revaluing coal contracts and selling its agricultural unit to Cofco Corp. below its book value.