November 29, 2017 / 1:03 AM / a year ago

Noble Group to sell four ships to cut debt

FILE PHOTO: A Noble Group sign is pictured at a meet-the-investors event in Singapore August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

(Reuters) - Struggling commodity trader Noble Group Ltd (NOBG.SI) said on Wednesday it would sell four dry bulk carrier vessels for about $95 million, as it looks to cut debt to keep its business running.

Net proceeds from the disposal, following repayment of bank loans associated with the ships and other costs, will amount to about $30 million, the company said in a statement.

Noble, once a global commodity trader with ambitions to rival the likes of Glencore (GLEN.L) or Vitol, has shrivelled to an Asian-centric company focused largely on coal and freight trading after a crisis-wracked two years that have forced it to slash jobs and sell assets.

Earlier this month, the company said it had started talks with stakeholders to restructure its debt and secure trade finances.

Noble said the sale of the vessels was expected to close next year between March 10 and May 31 and would not significantly impact the operations of the freight business.

Noble’s market value has plummeted more than 90 percent this year to about S$195 million (108.5 million pounds).

Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin

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