Noble Group's Net Debt Balloons as Constraints Hurt Trading

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Noble Group Ltd.’s net debt surged by almost $1 billion over the first six months as trading losses and constrained access to funds heaped further pressure on the commodity trader as it battles for survival, Bloomberg News reported. Net debt expanded $945 million from the start of the year to $3.82 billion at the end of June, the Hong Kong-based company said in a statement on Thursday as it reported a $1.75 billion loss for the second quarter. More than two years into a crisis punctuated by accounting criticisms, a collapse in its securities and concern it may default, Noble Group has been selling assets, reshuffling its senior management team and seeking an investor. The loss was flagged last month, when the company also announced that it would retreat to its Asian roots by selling its gas and power unit and looking for buyers for its oil liquids business. “Debt grew and it looks like they burned cash yet again,” said Todd Schubert, head of fixed-income research at Bank of Singapore Ltd. “The market is looking for major positives from the results and I do not see any.” Read more.