SINGAPORE (July 3): Shares in Noble Group tumbled on June 27, after Fitch Ratings cut the embattled commodities supplier’s credit rating once again and signalled a possible default. The counter fell 4.7% in intraday trading before closing at 50.5 cents. Fitch slashed Noble’s credit rating late on June 23, its third downgrade since mid-May, as uncertainty continues to mount over Noble’s profitability and ability to meet its debt obligations. Fitch said it had downgraded Noble’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to “CCC” from “B-”. Noble’s senior unsecured rating and the ratings on its entire outstanding senior unsecured notes were also downgraded to “CCC” from “B-”, the agency said in a statement accompanying the downgrade.
Fitch noted that the downgrade follows “continued uncertainty regarding Noble’s funding capacity and how this will affect its operation at its current business scale”. The rating agency added that while it recognises Noble’s effort to sell part of the group or its assets to aid in the restructuring of its business, “visibility over the form or success of any transaction is low, given current market conditions”.