Noble Group looks to raise $2.5 billion to refinance debt
The company logo of Noble Group is displayed at its office in Hong Kong, China January 22, 2016. Reuters

Shares in the embattled commodities trader Noble Group fell as much as 9 percent to S$0.17 on Friday after it transferred more than 14 million shares to employees who are leaving the company.

At 0600 GMT, about 4.8 million shares changed hands compared to a 30-day average of 4.2 shares.

The stock has lost 17 percent since Friday's close, dropping for a seventh week. The trader's market capitalization, which once topped $10 billion, has shrunk to $168 million.

Noble Group said it was transferring a total of 14,688,625 treasury shares to the staff from the two units, according to a statement to the exchange late on Thursday evening.

The stock, handed over in relation to awards under the company's 2014 restricted share plan, was valued at $2.01 million.

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 month, Noble Group agreed to sell its U.S. oil-liquids business to Vitol Group to reduce debt.

Earlier this month, the company announced the surprise departure of its co-Chief Executive Jeff Frase, just days after it reported a third-quarter loss of $1.17 billion and warned that the operating environment remains challenging.