Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 14, 2002
Alliances & Joint Ventures
ICRA to provide technical assistance to Gulf entities
ABU DHABI, March 13
ICRA Ltd, a provider of credit rating, advisory services and investment information, has entered into initial agreements with local organisations in the UAE, Oman and Kuwait to provide technical assistance and advisory services for setting up credit rating agencies in these countries.
Mr D.N. Ghosh, Chairman of ICRA, who is in the UAE in connection with an MoU signed with Tricolour Investments Ltd (TIL), told Business Line that MoUs had been signed with local firms in the three Gulf States. The agreement with Kuwait was signed last month, while Mr Ghosh signed a MoU with Mr Munir Abdul Nabi Makki of the Muscat-based Al Mawarid group during his current visit to the region.
ICRA would provide technical assistance and other support services and help in the development of these rating agencies and also help to train personnel at ICRA offices in India, he said.
Currently, approval for these agencies is awaited from the respective regulatory authorities in these countries. The projects could take off by the end of the year, he said.
Mr Ghosh said that ICRA had a host of innovative services on offer in the Indian domestic market, which it could offer to the proposed rating agencies in the Gulf. These include ratings for corporate governance, construction grade for real estate developers and structured financial deals.
Moody's risk management services and consultancy on the regulatory side could also be offered, he said. Moody's investor services is the largest shareholder in ICRA.
The company was growing at an annual rate of 20 per cent, he said, adding that till date, ICRA had completed over 2,500 assignments including equity gradings, credit ratings, customised research and need-based advisory assignments.
Mr Ghosh maintained that ICRA's primary focus was the domestic market and there were no plans to expand overseas in terms of investment.
"As the Gulf countries are looking to develop the debt market, our objective is to share our experience and expertise with local organisations,'' he said, adding that there was good scope in the Gulf countries.
Mr Ghosh, along with officials from TIL, also met central bank officials in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, TIL said in a statement that the agreement with ICRA was to provide information, credit and equity grading services to the corporate and financial sectors in the region. TIL is an India-centric public company incorporated in the Mauritius.
The Emirates Bank Group has a 40 per cent shareholding in it, with the remaining majority shareholding held by high net worth individuals and institutional shareholders.
TIL recently formed a wholly-owned subsidiary `Tricolour Initiatives (TIE) FZ LLC' in the Dubai Media City to pursue a number of such initiatives.
Mr Anis Al Jallaf, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Bank Group and Chairman of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), said this would be an important initiative to foster healthy development of financial markets in the region.
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