Indebted Noble secures extension on loan deadline amid restructuring talks

An employee is reflected on the wall as she walks past a signage of Noble Resources, a Noble Group subsidiary, at their premises in Singapore. REUTERS

Noble Group on Wednesday said lenders agreed to extend the waiver for its $1.1 billion revolving credit facility until May 18.

The company said it continued talking to creditors about a restructuring.

"Whilst no assurance can be given as to the outcome of these discussions, the company believes that these are open and constructive, and are moving forward," the company said in a regulatory filing.

Noble said last month that it has started discussions with various stakeholders with the objective of treating them all fairly.

Bloomberg reported last week that the commodity trader was in talks with creditors about a conventional restructuring that includes a debt-for-equity swap.

Depending on its size, the debt-for-equity swap could wipe out a significant portion of the shareholdings of current investors, the report said.

Once Asia's largest commodity trader, Noble's decline since 2015 has been marked by losses, concern it won't pay its debt and claims from long-time foe Iceberg Research including that it inflated the value of some contracts.

The Hong Kong-based firm, which is in talks with investors to address its deteriorating financial position, has been forced to shrink its business, exiting loss-making and non-core operations in order to survive.

Last week, its shareholders approved the company's pending sale of its North American oil business to Vitol U.S. Holdings about $580 million.

Noble Group shares rose 4.2 percent at S$0.25 on the Singapore Exchange. The trader's market capitalization, which once topped $10 billion, has shrunk to $320 million.