China, Allies in Talks for “Super-Sovereign” Credit Agency

Posted September 6th, 2011 at 1:20 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A Chinese credit rating agency says it is in talks with its counterparts around the world to establish what it calls a “super-sovereign” credit rating agency.

The chief executive of Dagong Global Credit Ratings tells the state-controlled China Daily the new agency hopes to challenge the three major U.S.-based credit agencies, which together control 95 percent of the market. It would specialize in assessing sovereign debt.

In an article published Tuesday, Guan Jianzhong tells China Daily that contacts have been made with agencies in South Korea, Germany and the five countries known as the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. He says plans for the agency will be finalized later this year in Frankfurt, and its headquarters will likely be in Europe.

Guan is quoted saying former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and other leading political figures have helped to formulate the plans for the agency. He says he hopes it will hold a leading global position within five years.

The role of credit agencies in assessing sovereign debt has attracted widespread attention as Greece and other European countries have been threatened by an inability to maintain payments on their sovereign debt.

Economic shock waves circled the globe earlier this year when the American agency Standard & Poor's lowered its rating of U.S. sovereign debt for the first time since the ratings system was established.