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HONG KONG, May 12 (IFR) - Asia credit markets were slightly tighter on Friday, though the price of Noble Group's US dollar notes slumped on rising worries over its ability to service debt.
"The market was stable today with most investment-grade names slightly firmer," said a Hong Kong-based credit trader. The iTraxx Asia IG index was little unchanged at 88.5bp/89.5bp.
New issues were traded above par. The new perps of Cheung Kong Property Holdings were bid at 100.15 and the fresh AT1s of Bank of East Asia were quoted at 100.5/100.8, according to Tradeweb.
The high-yield sector was mostly resilient with Huachen Energy's new 2020s bid at 100.25, traders said.
However, Noble Group's US$750m 8.75% 2022s plunged to 52.9/55.83, after closing at around 70 on Thursday, according to Tradeweb. The notes had been trading at par one month earlier.
The commodity trader reported a loss of US$129.3m for January-March quarter in its latest setback during a crisis-racked two years, despite deep restructuring.
"In particular, losses in Nobel's core business raised doubts on the prospect of its profitability," said a Hong Kong-based credit analyst.
"In my view, there is still room for Nobel's notes to fall further in price."
Reporting by Ina Zhou; editing by Dharsan Singh