Turkey is planning to start its own national rating company after years of lashing out at foreign credit assessors.
A group comprising Turkish banks, the nation’s stock exchange and financial industry associations will jointly establish a firm by acquiring a majority stake in the local unit of Japan Credit Rating Agency, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The group is in talks to buy more than 80% of JCR Eurasia Rating from shareholders including Orhan Okmen and Rafi Karagol for about $13mn, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. JCR is expected to retain a stake.
A JCR spokesman wasn’t able to comment when contacted by Bloomberg in Tokyo. Turkey’s Treasury declined to comment. Borsa Istanbul wasn’t immediately available to comment. Turkish politicians have long complained about what they perceive as unfair treatment at the hands of Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, all of which rank the country below investment grade. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused them of political bias and likened them to circus jugglers.
“Don’t ever believe in jugglers,” state-run Anadolu Agency cited Erdogan as saying a year ago.
In April, Treasury & Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said a national credit rating firm would be established this year. In June, the banking regulator’s chief, Mehmet Ali Akben, said the necessary regulatory work was already completed.
“Banks, private institutions and many foreign institutions – provided that there’s no conflict of interest and that independence isn’t harmed – may be partners” to the firm, Akben was quoted as saying by Anadolu on June 7.
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