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SINGAPORE (Aug 17): Arnaud Vagner was fired from his position as senior credit analyst at commodity trader Noble Group in June 2013 and it was only after he left that he began to take a closer look at Noble’s financials, uncovering misrepresentations in the company’s accounts in the process.
The Edge Singapore spoke to Vagner, who said that it took him “months” to understand what was going on. He said he also checked his assumptions and calculations multiple times, and against available industry information. His investigations led him to start a website under the name Iceberg Research, where he began a crusade to expose Noble’s financial irregularities.
Since Iceberg went public in Feb 15, 2015, Noble has lost about 99% of its market value. And now, it is undertaking a restructuring in hopes to recover some value for its shareholders. But Iceberg is suggesting that those same securities holders band together to sue the parties responsible for the loss of value instead.
Iceberg also said in an Aug 14 post that it has “talked to experienced law firms” and they are “ready to represent the interest of these investors”. The post also said that Noble’s restructuring is not financially viable as it has almost the same financing costs.
This all comes at a crucial time for Noble as a general meeting will be convened on Aug 27 to review its proposed restructuring.
Meanwhile, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has responded to this whole saga by pushing Noble into releasing more information. But is that enough?
Find out more in this week’s issue of The Edge Singapore (Issue 844, week of Aug 20), on sale now at newsstands.
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