9 Jun 2004 13:09

Moody‘s Investors Service and Interfax Group announce start of operations of Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency in Kazakhstan

Moody‘s Investors Service, a world leading source for credit ratings, research and risk analysis, and the Interfax Information Services Group have announced the beginning of the Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency‘s work in Kazakhstan.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had a meeting with head of Moody‘s Corporation John Rutherfurd and Interfax Chairman and CEO Mikhail Komissar in Astana on Wednesday, June 9, during which they discussed the possible establishment of a rating agency in the country.
"The combined efforts of the world rating leader Moody‘s and Interfax Information Services Group in establishing the Kazakh Rating Agency are extremely important for the country‘s development. This will help ensure transparency of the Kazakh economy and its integration with the world economic system," Nazarbayev said.
Rutherfurd highly estimated President Nazarbayev‘s role in the achievements Kazakhstan is making today, saying that such comprehensive economic reforms would not have been possible without the president‘s political will and the political reforms he is pursuing. Pointing out that Moody‘s recently upgraded Kazakhstan‘s sovereign credit rating to investment level, Rutherfurd said that all the basic economic indicators in the country had been steadily improving, and Kazakhstan in the future could have new opportunities to have its sovereign rating upgraded further.
Interfax Chairman Mikhail Komissar said that "Kazakhstan is one of the most dynamically developing countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, with a steadily growing number of Kazakh companies entering the financial market and national and foreign investors displaying increasing interest in them."
"We believe the work of Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency will contribute to further development of the Kazakh financial market and to improving its transparency," he said.
Komissar said Interfax‘s knowledge of the specifics of the Kazakh market and Moody‘s vast international experience will serve as a firm basis for developing the rating agency‘s business, which had until lately been limited to Russia.
Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency shareholders signed an agreement on expanding its sphere of activity in assigning national ratings in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, and Azerbaijan in November 2003. Wednesday‘s statement that Moody‘s Interfax is entering the Kazakh market is the first step in implementing these plans.

Moody‘s Investors Service, a leading global credit rating, research and risk analysis firm, publishes credit opinions, research, and ratings on fixed-income securities, issuers of securities and other credit obligations. The firm provides credit ratings and analysis on more than $30 trillion of debt covering approximately 67,000 US public finance obligations, and 136,000 corporate, government, and structured finance securities. Moody‘s maintains relationships with 22,000 US public finance issuers, as well as 6,000 corporate and financial institutions and 15,000 structured finance issuers, and 100 sovereign nations. Moody‘s is a subsidiary of Moody‘s Corporation , which employs nearly 2,300 employees in 18 countries and had reported revenue of $1.2 billion in 2003 ($1.0 billion – 2002). The company’s market capitalization was more than $11.1 billion (on May 1, 2004).
Additional information about the company is available at www.moodys.com.

Since the early 1990s, Interfax Group has been the leading source of up-to-the-minute information on Russia and the CIS for the international community. As a source of reference on Russian events, the Group has been cited by world media with unparalleled frequency.
Set up in 1989, Interfax Group brings together over 20 companies and a network of national, regional, and specialized news agencies operating throughout Russia and other CIS countries, as well as in China and Central and Eastern Europe under the Interfax brand name.
The Group also includes companies and divisions that provide analytical services, develop software solutions and cooperate with major international information organizations.
More information on the Interfax Information Services Group is available on the website www.interfax.ru.

The Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency, a member of the Interfax Information Services Group, specializes in the assessment of credit risks in Russia, set up in 1997 and the agency rates financial institutions, regional administrations and non-financial enterprises, as well as their individual liabilities.
In October 2001, Interfax Rating Agency sealed an agreement on partnership with Moody‘s Investors Service, and the latter purchased about 20% of shares in the Russian agency in November 2003. In June 2004, Moody‘s increased its interest in the Interfax Rating Agency to a controlling stake.
The Interfax Rating Agency bases its ratings on the Russian rating scale. It has assigned its ratings to more than fifty Russian issues and issuers - banks, companies and the larger regions. The agency, in association with Moody’s, has assigned more than 50 credit ratings to date.
More information on the Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency is available on the website http://rating.interfax.ru.