Sinochem Group is in early talks to become a strategic investor in Noble Group Ltd, providing the embattled Asia-based commodities trading house with an equity injection, according to sources familiar with the talks. Noble is discussing a possible strategic investment, according to a statement on Tuesday [14 February 2017] that didn’t refer to Sinochem…Full Article: China Daily Feb 2017

Key Point

  • Beginning in 2015 and continuing into 2016, Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) shares have declined significantly [SGD 1.20 or ~US$0.85  per share in mid-February 2015 to SGD 0.22 or ~US$0.16 per share in mid-February 2017].

ChinaAg Comments

  • Sinochem Group’s agribusiness subsidiaries include Sinofert Holdings (HKG:0297),  Sinochem International Corporation(SHA:600500), and China National Seed Group.
  • In mid-October 2016, it was announced (later denied) that ChemChina and SinoChem would merge. The merger between ChemChina and SinoChem may also include another Chinese organization/company that would invest US$15 billion in the deal. During the same month, COFCO announced it would invest US$27 million to further develop its dock complex (former Noble Group) at the Port of Timbúes, Santa Fe Province [Greater Rosario]. This included improving its grain processing and loading/unloading facilities.
  • In January 2016, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) former chairman Frank Gaoning Ning became chairman of Sinochem Group. Sinochem Corporation is a state-own conglomerate that produces and markets chemicals, fertilizers and petroleum. During the same month, SinoChem was in early discussions to acquire Singapore’s Halcyon Agri Corp, a rubber producer that operates 14 rubber processing facilities in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • In December 2015, COFCO announced it would buy out the remaining 49% of Noble Group’s Noble Agri division.
  • COFCO’s February 2014 investment in Nidera and April 2014 investment in Noble Group was 60% financed by COFCO and 40% by outside investors such as: Hopu Investment Management Co. (Chinese private-equity firm), Temasek Holdings (Singapore state-owned investment firm), Standard Chartered Private Equity and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.
  • In April 2014, COFCO acquired a 51% stake (estimated at US$1.5 billion) in Noble Group’s Agribusiness Division (trades in grains, oilseeds, sugar, cocoa, cotton, and coffee).
  • In January 2008, Sinochem purchased Monsanto herbicide assets in seven Asian countries.
  • In 2006, Sinochem International became the exclusive distributor of Monsanto’s “Roundup” products in mainland China.

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