Summary of findings Presentation of AREC American Resources Corporation (AREC) describes itself as a ‘next generation and socially responsible supplier of rare earth and critical elements, carbon and advanced carbon materials to the new infrastructure and electrification marketplace’. The reality is more prosaic. The Fishers, Indiana-headquartered company operates coal mines in Eastern Kentucky and West […]

The four-year old quantum computing wannabe that never got anywhere with its software Quantum Computing Inc (QUBT) was established in 2018 after former homicide detective and current CEO Robert Liscouski bought a beverage company out of receivership (for $155,000), then turned it into a quantum computing software business. The company’s main product is Qatalyst: software […]

Lilium regularly releases PR statements on future suppliers, potential partners, and even its fancy cabin design.  Yet the company has not demonstrated any meaningful range on test flights, even after moving its flight program to Spain. As a reminder, the Lilium Jet eats through power at far greater rates than comparable vehicles.   Lilium did demote […]

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) has imposed a civil penalty of SG$12.6m (equivalent to US$9m) on Noble Group, more than seven years after Iceberg exposed the fraud. The regulators have discovered that long term commodity contracts were inflated, something that everyone already knew.  This fine represents just:  2.7% of the total remuneration of Noble’s […]

Please refer to our disclaimer at the bottom of the report. Victoria is an AIM-listed company that was established in 1895 and is based in Kidderminster, England. It creates, manufactures, and sells carpet and flooring products, primarily in Europe, North America, and Australia.  The bull case for Victoria is that reported sales over the last […]

After we published our report, eVTOL startup Lilium discreetly issued 13 FAQs on its website. Nowhere are the main points of our report addressed.  To recap, due to its power hungry design, the Lilium Jet needs battery cells with an energy density of at least 320 Wh/kg. Cells available in the market stand at 270 […]

Summary of findings Overview of Lilium Lilium NV was founded in 2015 to develop electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL).  The air-taxi startup has gone through five iterations of its eVTOL — the Lilium Jet — over the last seven years. Its end-goal is to commercialize the Jet in 2024, assuming all aviation regulatory […]

Clear as mud HongYun raises serious questions on Hyzon’s 85 trucks sales guidance Hyzon ended the third quarter with the sale of only two trucks recorded at the start of August. No other vehicle seems to have been delivered since then and we are 45 days from the end of the year. Still, Hyzon maintains […]

Please refer to our disclaimer at the bottom of the report. Blue Orca Capital published a short report on Nasdaq-listed Hyzon Motors Inc. on 28 September 2021. Having conducted our own research, we agree with its key findings. Hyzon issued a rebuttal to the report on 5 October 2021 that failed to address these issues. […]

Diginex’s share price ($EQOS) has plunged 42% since we published ‘Diginex Ltd: A Crypto Zero’ on 15 April 2021. We highlighted the company’s weak competitive position, dubious transactions history, accusations of selling assets without authorisation, and insiders aggressively selling their shares.  Despite being a listed company, the management of Diginex has not responded to our […]

Please see our full disclaimer at the bottom of the report. Summary of Findings Diginex’s key product is its crypto-exchange Equos. The exchange is ranked 296 out of 306 and competes against larger and well-funded exchanges. The company is trying to differentiate Equos as a secure and reliable platform catering to institutional investors. However, Diginex’s […]

EOS released a new corporate presentation on its website. We note a complete change in the way it presents its “customers”. Contracts with IEP/Carson/Enersmart/Hecate were initially trumpeted as major orders in triumphant press releases. They are now described as follows. Source: EOS 19-Jan-21 investor presentation Let’s remember how EOS used to present its agreements before […]

Please refer to the disclaimer below. Summary of Findings: Energy-storage battery manufacturer EOS Energy Enterprises Inc (“EOS” – ticker $EOSE) has raised and burned through $160m over the 12 years of its existence prior to its SPAC merger on 17 November 2020. EOS was only able to generate $35k revenue in the first nine months […]

Nyrstar’s shareholders are suing Nyrstar and ultimately plan to seek hundreds of millions of damages from Trafigura. They believe Trafigura used its influence on Nyrstar to sign extremely onerous contracts that led to Nyrstar’s bankruptcy and crushed minority shareholders. Trafigura now owns 98% of the restructured Nyrstar while the other shareholders have been virtually wiped out. […]

Please refer to the disclaimer below. Commodity trader Trafigura has accumulated a massive debt of $33b and has recorded a negative operating cash flow of $7.3b since 2016. When they finance Trafigura, banks and bondholders probably derive comfort from the valuation of Trafigura’s assets, more than its cash flows. We found that Trafigura ignores economic […]

Many investors of Noble Group (shareholders, perpetuals, bonds holders), who have suffered massive losses, have asked us how they could sue Noble, its managers and the parties responsible for this major fraud, including its auditor and the banks that have facilitated this scheme. These investors are naturally exasperated. The same team that has cooked the […]

Here are our questions to Noble’s management before its Q1 2018 conference call. 1) Noble’s chairman, Paul Brough, and its founder, Richard Elman, believe that the “new Noble” post restructuring will be more successful than the “old Noble”, now insolvent. However, the new Noble looks a lot like the old Noble: same management, same director […]

The following was offered as an open letter to all Noble Group’s shareholders, creditors, bondholders, and employees. The author, Michael Dee, is the ex-CEO of Morgan Stanley South East Asia and a former managing director of Temasek. He has been an early critic of Noble Group’s accounting practices and management.   Noble should not be […]

Three years ago, we published a series of reports on Noble group. Our thesis at that time was that Noble, like Enron, was hiding billions of losses by creating fake assets. Many investors chose to believe this company, its auditor, the credit agencies that didn’t see any issue with the huge fair values, and the […]

Debtwire announced that Noble Group may be nearing a deal to restructure its $3.5b debt with a debt-to-equity swap. Noble subsequently clarified that no agreement has been reached yet. If and when a deal is reached, creditors will have to approve it. This will not be straightforward as their interests strongly diverge. For example, the […]

Dear Noble Group’s Creditors, It is fair to say that your investment journey with Noble Group has been a tumultuous one. You probably feel nauseous after the months spent on this ship. Noble was a very large and diversified commodity trader with revenue of $86b. It was rated investment grade by three credit agencies. Now, […]

We initiate coverage on Tibet Water Resources Ltd (HKG.1115). 请参见下方的中文报告 Our main findings include: – Tibet Water is the most profitable brewer in the world, but we struggled to find its beer products in Tibet although the region represents 98% of its sales in the beer segment. – The brewery is mainly an OEM that […]

“I just want to let you know that Noble has not changed; the character, the high degree of morality, the respect, the honesty and all the positive things that built Noble are still in place and are being reinforced on a daily basis.” Richard Elman, Founder and former Chairman of Noble Group – 11 June […]

The multi-year quest for a “strategic” investor Here we go again. Noble is in early talks with an investor to potentially acquire a stake in Noble, and the share price surged following the news. Sounds familiar? Probably because this already happened a few times. Eighteen months ago (August 2015), Reuters reported that Noble was considering raising funds […]

Iceberg initiates coverage on Tutor Perini (TPC). The company’s issues are not restricted to the “unbilled”. Tutor Perini has an impressive number of structural problems that, we believe, are underestimated by the market. Summary of findings: Tutor Perini (“Tutor”) is a $1.5b market cap company, but it has recorded only $3m in operating cash flow (“OCF”) […]

Mr Alireza was recruited by Noble Group four years ago after he left Goldman Sachs. His first day as CEO of this large physical trader was his first day in the commodity business. The learning curve has been a particularly painful experience for the company’s shareholders: the share price fell by 76%. Noble dramatically underperformed the […]

1) The new unsecured revolving credit facility is offered at a very high 350 bps all-in. Banks have dramatically reassessed the counterparty risk of Noble after the company finally started to face the reality, recognized long overdue impairments and booked a loss of $1.7b as a result. The commodity industry is a low margin business. […]

Noble Group’s chairman, Mr. Elman, recently declared “Last year, we had to separate our business from rumour and gossip”. In April, our reports were already described as “inaccurate, unreliable and misleading”, and Mr. Elman proclaimed that the “Iceberg issue is finished”. After months of denial and defiant tone, the market does not pay attention anymore. […]

S&P has downgraded Noble Group to junk today, following a similar move by Moody’s. The downgrade validates one of our main arguments against Noble: this company has never been investment grade. In fact, the question is why did it take so long when it was clear that Noble has been bleeding cash for years, and […]

During the Q3 conference call in November, Mr. Alireza, Noble’s CEO, said: “We are committed to our stake on Noble Agri, we are a 49% shareholder and we are working with our partners to enhance and improve the performance of it.” One month later, Noble announced they want to sell their stake in Agri. Desperate times call for […]

The CFO, Mr. van der Zalm, stepped down. He was appointed Vice Chairman of finance in London, a title with no meaning except that he’s gone, far from this accounting debacle and its legal risks. We understand that Mr. van der Zalm has been away for a while. It is only today that Noble made […]

PwC review As expected, PwC has not challenged the realism of Noble’s assumptions. It is very clear from the two PwC reports that this firm merely answered the question: are Noble’s mark-to-market (“MTM”) processes formally in compliance with accounting standards? EY has answered the same question for years. Enron was largely in compliance with accounting […]

Confidence in Noble is clearly eroding Noble has been unable to address concerns over its financials. The share price has fallen by 43% since our first report despite the share buyback program. Sell side analysts slashed their target price by 30% from a year ago. Credit spreads have widened substantially. The International Financing Review Asia […]

Here are our main questions for Noble’s annual general meeting held on April 17th. 1) After our second report, Noble promised more transparency. Strangely, after our 31-page third report was released, the company quickly adopted a bunker mentality. Noble has never written a rebuttal to this report. As a public company, they should explain why […]

Summary of findings: There are an impressive series of red flags drawn when reviewing Noble’s governance: independent directors on the board for 19 years, key shareholders and staff leaving the company, “negative assurances” taken off the website, the high number of reservations expressed by the auditor in the annual report, etc. Noble substantially understates both […]

We refer to Noble’s recent announcements on Iceberg’s reports and the company’s FY2014 results. It is clear that Noble’s reactions show that the management is extremely nervous. Noble has a well known history of trying to aggressively discredit people when the company dislikes them. We prefer to remain focused on the financial arguments. FY2014 results […]