Rating Agency Malaysia reinforces presence in Lanka Rating

Rating Agency Malaysia Berhad ("RAM") Ė an affiliate of Standard & Poorís, has completed the acquisition of an additional 51% in Lanka Rating Agency Ltd ("LRA") on 8 July 2005 making it a 100%-owned subsidiary of RAM. LRA was initially set-up as joint venture between RAM (49%) and Key Research & Information Ltd (51%) of the Ceylinco Consolidated Group. This move signals RAMís sustained commitment in Sri Lanka.

RAM has identified Sri Lanka as an important market to develop its international rating operations and has modeled LRA as a domestic rating agency, akin to RAMís own pivotal role as the first credit rating agency set up in Malaysia. LRA will be emulating in Sri Lanka, the commitment that RAM took on when it was first established i.e. to develop the Malaysian bond market. LRA is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and is also officially accredited to rate all financial institutions and non-bank financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Ms Priya Thamotheram, a Sri Lankan, helms LRAís team as Chief Executive Officer. Ms Thamotheramís training with RAM in Malaysia will enable LRA to effectively blend a keen understanding of the Sri Lankan market and RAMís expertise. Senior personnel from RAM will also be flown in when required to work together with LRAís team on rating assignments.

Effectively, LRA would springboard on RAMís experience in rating almost all the financial institutions in Malaysia and more than 700 debt issues by corporates, statutory organisations and subsidiaries of foreign multinationals reflecting the leading sectors of the Malaysian economy Ė which have some similarities to the sectors that will potentially grow in Sri Lanka. In particular, RAMís fortes in Financial Institutions Ratings, Asset-backed Securitisation and ratings of Islamic Securities will be leveraged by LRA.


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