January 29, 2018 / 9:19 AM / 9 months ago

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Noble Group's bonds rise on restructuring buzz

HONG KONG, Jan 29 (IFR) - Noble Group’s outstanding bonds have jumped amid optimism that the struggling commodities trader may reach an agreement with creditors to restructure debt.

The 8.75% 2022s were trading at a cash price of 50/51, up three points since last week and 12 points since the start of the year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Last week, company chairman Paul Brough declined to confirm a media report that Noble had reached an agreement with creditors to restructure about US$3.5bn in debt, but he said he hoped things were moving in the right direction.

Noble plunged into crisis in 2015 when Iceberg Research started questioning its accounts and triggered a share price collapse, credit downgrades and writedowns, as well as fundraising and management changes.

Noble has stood by its accounts. Its market value has fallen to just US$268m from the US$6bn it commanded in February 2015.

Reliance Industries’ US$800m 3.667% 2027, which at the time of issue last November was called the tightest 10-year US dollar bond from India’s corporate sector, dropped to its lowest cash price.

The bonds were trading nearly half a point down to 97.03/97.42, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Mongolia’s US$500m 10.875% 2021s were two-tenths of a point lower at 118/118.625, while Chandra Asri Petrochemical’s 4.95% 2024s were a third of a point lower at 97.27/97.827, according to Thomson Reuters data.

China Cinda Asset Management’s 5.625% 2024s were under pressure, down a third of a point, after the bad-debt manager announced a mandate for a US dollar offering this morning. The rest of the curve was relatively stable amid two-way flows.

The Asia ex-Japan investment-grade CDS index was 2bp tighter at 62bp/62.75bp, driven by narrowing credit protection costs from Kookmin Bank and Hutchison Whampoa.

Reporting by Frances Yoon; Editing by Vincent Baby

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