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S&P announces new rating service

Standard & Poor's is going ahead with a rating service specifically designed to measure the credit worthiness of New Zealand finance companies.

Friday, November 10th 2006, 1:39PM
The new ratings scale will measure the relative financial strength of New Zealand non-bank finance entities.

"The launch of the new scale is based on strong industry support for Standard & Poor's proposed ratings scale and methodology, as well as a significant number of finance entities that are committed to undertaking and releasing a rating," the company says.

It is designed to provide investors and advisers with an independent, credible opinion on the default risks of New Zealand non-bank finance entities.

The ratings scale and symbology are unique, and tailored specifically for New Zealand finance companies, building societies, credit unions, and mortgage trusts.

"Our service has been introduced in response to an overwhelming demand from investors, regulators, and the finance entities themselves for credible ratings that enable comparisons within the non-bank sector," S&P managing director, corporate and government ratings Paul Stephen says.

He says the market preferred the relative strength comparison between finance entities rather than having a scale based on comparisons with international peers, many of which are significantly larger and more diverse.

S&P will shortly commence its analysis and site visits with the initial entities to be rated, with a view to announcing the first ratings in early 2007.

Download criteria on the ratings here

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