Forget the so-called Big Three – credit ratings Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch, which control about 95% of credit ratings in global financial markets.
A new version, the Africa Sovereign Ratings, was officially launched in Johannesburg on Friday, and respected political scientist Professor Stephen Friedman of the University of Johannesburg said the move was long overdue.
Addressing the SAR’s inaugural meeting, Friedman said: “Why was there no African rating agency earlier?
Said Friedman: “The reason that sovereign ratings are not something that Africans should engage in – the territory of people on the other side of the colonial divide and who consider themselves superior – is that behind this colonial thinking
“The big three sovereign rating agencies are seen as people who know how to rate the economy, and if you have to prove you’re on their level, you have to prove you’re as smart as they are and that your methods are just as sophisticated, like them. there is.”
SAR Chief Operating Officer Zwelibanzi Mazia said: “We are the first credit rating in Africa to provide a sovereign rating.
“This day is very important because we bring a new opinion, if not a new one, then an additional one, which is so necessary in the investment market.
“It helps the issue in the sense of providing a new perspective – designed to bring stability to the bond markets, but also for the investment community to get a new perspective to help them in their investment research.”
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When asked how SARs will be perceived by international markets, given the dominance of Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s; and Fitch, Maziya said: “We are a new player and we need to establish ourselves in the market.
“We intend to use our research to speak for itself, and we welcome any criticism from any market participants – certainly considering any of their comments.
“As for other rating agencies that have been around for a long time – knowing that they have been embedded in certain pieces of legislation – we expect that the market will need time for a new player to emerge.
“Professor Stephen Friedman said that we are considered as incompetent as Africans in general, and therefore some expertise should be left to the West and North America.
“However, if you look at international rating agencies – especially if they operate outside of the US – they usually use local people as their analysts.
“For example, there are Africans in South Africa who work for S&P as well as Moody’s.
“They are well aware that the skills are available outside of America and given the fact that we are in Africa, we will also use Africans.
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“We are not concerned about the skill sect. We look forward to the challenge – confident in our resources.”