August 10, 2017 / 10:20 AM / a year ago

Noble Group reports $1.75 bln Q2 loss, hit by writedowns

SINGAPORE, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Noble Group Ltd reported a quarterly loss of $1.75 billion, its biggest in 1-1/2 years that it had flagged last month, and said it would use funds raised from asset sales to cut debt.

"Conservative liquidity management, scaling back of risk positions and constraints placed on the Group's access to trade finance lines led to disruption costs and prevented the Group from taking advantage of profitable opportunities," the struggling Singapore-listed company said in a statement on Thursday.

For the first half ended June 30, Noble reported a net loss of $1.9 billion which included $1.3 billion of non-cash valuation adjustments taken to the balance sheet. This compared with a $14 million loss for the first half of last year and a loss of $54.9 million for the second quarter of last year.

Once Asia's largest commodities trading house, Noble is slimming down drastically to its core Asian coal-trading business. Last month, it announced a sale of its U.S. gas and power business and began a process to sell its oils liquids unit.

The Hong Kong-headquartered company said it continues to be in discussions with its lenders.

Noble's troubles started more than two years ago when its accounts were questioned by Iceberg Research and it faced a severe commodities market downturn. A dramatic collapse in its share price and ratings agency downgrades ensued, forcing a sale of its assets and a fund raising to allay financing worries. Noble has stood by its accounts. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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