Noble Group Considers Agriculture Business Spin-Off

First Published Tuesday, 4th October 2011 02:44 pm - © 2011 Dow Jones


--Noble considering spinning off and listing its agriculture business on Singapore Exchange

--Noble has filed application for possible listing; no final decision yet

--Decision subject to market conditions, regulatory approvals

(Adds background in third to fifth paragraphs.)

By Chun Han Wong

Of Dow Jones NEWSWIRES

SINGAPORE -(Dow Jones)- Noble Group Ltd. (N21.SG) said Tuesday it is considering a spin-off and primary listing of its agriculture business on the main board of the Singapore Exchange.

The Singapore-listed commodities supplier has filed an application in relation to this possible listing, but has yet to make a final decision on the matter, it said in a statement.

Noble's announcement comes amid a period of market volatility--stirred by worries over a slowing global economy and Europe's sovereign-debt crisis--that has taken its toll on several companies' plans for initial public offerings in the city-state.

These firms include U.K. gym-chain operator Fitness First, U.K. soccer club Manchester United Ltd. and Indian hospital operator Fortis Healthcare (India) Ltd. (532843.BY), all of which have either postponed their Singapore IPO plans to next year or are considering such a delay.

Noble, in which sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. holds a 15% stake, said its decision will be subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals. It didn't elaborate further on the plan.

-By Chun Han Wong, Dow Jones Newswires;+65 64154 160;chunhan.wong@dowjones.com

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