A wheel loader piles up coal at a coalyard in Yichang city, central China's Hubei province. Photo: AFP, Zhou jianping/Imaginechina

A bad situation has quickly become worse for Noble Group, A firm that was once Asia’s largest commodities trader, after a further downgrade from Standard & Poor’s on Monday led to a big sell-off.

Shares fell 32% in Singapore Tuesday morning, before their trading was suspended upon a request from Noble. Noble bonds also slumped to 36.5 cents on the dollar.

Now effectively closed off from the bond market, Noble has been shopping for a strategic investor to no avail. The Financial Times writes that bankers and analysts say Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, which has a near 10% stake in Noble, is the company’s best hope.

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