Commodities trader Noble Group Ltd. said Monday it would take legal action in Hong Kong against parties associated with Iceberg Research, an analyst firm that criticized its accounting methods.
A series of reports from Iceberg, which says it “identifies substantial earnings misrepresentation and accounting irregularities in financial statements issued by public companies”, caused panic selling by investors in Noble’s stock, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Hong Kong-based Noble said it would start legal proceedings in the High Court against Hong Kong resident Arnaud Vagner, Seychelles-based Enlighten Ace Ltd. and any associates “for conspiracy to injure Noble Group”.
Noble Group didn’t specify their links to Iceberg. Noble said earlier it believed one of the people behind that firm was a former employee who had been fired for misconduct.
Iceberg has published three reports since mid-February, the latest on Saturday, accusing Noble of accounting irregularities.
“We reject their allegations as inaccurate, unreliable and misleading,” Noble said in a statement to Singapore Exchange.
“Iceberg are not the independent research house they claim to be. Their actions, and their timing, have been calculated primarily to inflict damage rather than to facilitate the distribution of research.”
Noble’s stock has fallen 29 percent since the first report was published Feb. 15.
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