Russia and China plan own rating agency to rival western players

Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint rating agency as Moscow’s stand-off with the west over Ukraine has made it more eager to establish institutions that would reduce its dependence on the U.S. and Europe.

“In the beginning, the agency will assess Russian-Chinese investment projects with a view to attracting of [investors from] a number of Asian countries,” Anton Siluanov, Russia’s finance minister, said in Beijing, according to his ministry. “Gradually, based on the progress and authority of such an agency, we believe it will rise to a level where its opinions will attract other countries.”

The BRICs group of large developing countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—has long discussed plans to set up its own rating agency, along with a BRICs bank. Member countries complain that globally dominant agencies such as S&P, Moody’s and Fitch focus on developed countries and fail to assess developing economies fairly.

While earlier attempts at challenging the dominant western players have been slow to get off the ground, observers in Russia said they were optimistic the planned Russian-Chinese rating agency could win backing and be broadened into a BRICs project at the group’s summit in Brazil next month.

“The recent events around Russia and Ukraine have had an acceleration effect, as sanctions have encouraged plans in Russia to make itself less dependent on the west,” said Chris Weafer, a partner at Moscow-based MacroAdvisory.

Full article: Russia and China plan own rating agency to rival western players (CNBC)

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