Noble tries to steer round iceberg with bond issue

Commodities trading group hopes to head for calmer waters after avoiding a liquidity crunch by taking advantage of rallying bond prices to re-finance short-term bank debt.

The embattled Noble Group returned to the international bond markets on Monday with a $750 million Reg S transaction, which may remove any lingering concerns about the company's immediate debt repayment abilities. 

The Singapore-listed group has endured a very stormy ride ever since anonymous research firm Iceberg accused it of accounting irregularities two years ago. These allegations remain unproven, but prompted Noble’s stock and bond prices to quickly sink to distressed levels. 

However, fixed income fund managers, at least, appear to have renewed faith in the group's ability to pay them back.

So far this year, Noble Group has been one of...

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