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EY told to provide documents as authorities investigate on Noble Group

Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority said in the statement it has sent a notification letter to EY (Singapore) stating that it is commencing inspection on the audits on Noble's subsidiary for the financial years ended December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2016.

Noble Group
Source: AFP

The Singapore unit of accounting firm EY has been ordered by local authorities to provide audit documents to assist with an investigation on a subsidiary of commodities trader Noble Group.

The Singapore Police Force’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement on Wednesday they have directed EY (Singapore) to produce documents in relation to the audit of Noble Resources International (NRI).

NRI is a subsidiary which handled most of the Noble’s coal trading activities. Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) said in the statement it has sent a notification letter to EY (Singapore) stating that it is commencing inspection on the audits on NRI for the financial years ended December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2016.

The probe from Singapore authorities caught the commodities trader by surprise last week, as it was in the midst of reforming and listing as a restructured group by November 27.

Ongoing false statements probe on Noble

Last Tuesday, CAD, MAS and ACRA issued a statement stating that they are investigating suspected false and misleading statements, and breaches of disclosure requirements from Noble. Noble’s NRI will be investigated on potential non-compliance on accounting standards under the Companies Act.

The authorities said ACRA made findings of a suspected breach of the Companies Act from NRI, after an “extensive review” of the firm’s financial statements for the financial year period December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2016.

Noble has already suspended the trading of its shares on the Singapore Exchange, pending its restructuring transition.

On Monday, Noble announced it will push back the restructuring completion date from November 27 to December 11 of this year, after receiving time extensions for its US$3.5 billion restructuring plan and consent from major creditors.

The later date is to accommodate with the investigation probe from the authorities. The schemes of arrangement in agreement with Noble and its creditors showed that the furthest the dates can be pushed back is no later than the end of this year, December 31.

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This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited and IG Markets South Africa Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. International accounts are offered by IG Markets Limited in the UK (FCA Number 195355), a juristic representative of IG Markets South Africa Limited (FSP No 41393). South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance and may not use credit or debit cards to fund their international account.