Noble Group's Energy Trading Loss Shows Challenge Facing Rebirth

Noble Group Ltd.’s earnings were salvaged by a surge in alumina prices but its core coal trading business struggled to make money in the third quarter, highlighting the challenge the company faces as it emerges from a marathon debt restructuring, Bloomberg News reported. The company is pinning its hopes on Asia-focused coal, alumina and liquefied natural gas trading businesses to help it make money once the restructuring is completed this month. Noble reported a third-quarter operating loss from supply chains of $12 million in its energy unit, which includes thermal coal and LNG trading. Paul Jackaman, Noble’s chief financial officer, told investors on a call that the company had lost money trading LNG, and that its thermal coal business had an operating result of “pretty much” zero for the quarter. Jackaman highlighted the company’s limited access to credit, the lifeblood of commodity traders, which has restricted its ability to carry out transactions and limited its ability to hedge prices. Read more