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
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.