Philippines calls for Asian ratings agency

Cesar Purisima, the country's finance minister, said the global ratings industry faces a battle to remain relevant amid concerns about the dominance of the three main players.
The comments from Purisima come in spite of the Philippines' promotion this year to “investment grade” by all three of the leading ratings firms.
The comments from Purisima come in spite of the Philippines' promotion this year to “investment grade” by all three of the leading ratings firms.

Asia should have its own regional ratings agency to challenge industry leaders Fitch, Standard Poor’s and Moody’s, Cesar Purisima, finance minister for the Philippines, said on Wednesday.

Purisima, speaking at FinanceAsia’s annual Borrowers Investors Forum, Southeast Asia, in Singapore, said the ratings industry faces a battle to remain relevant amid accusations that it failed to anticipate the global financial crisis and possibly even contributed to it by underestimating some credit risks.

“If I were a ratings agency guy I’d be worried because this is about the relevance of ratings,” he said, noting the massive degree to which the three US groups dominate the industry. “The...

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