28 Oct 2004 11:38

Interfax turns 15

Interfax International Information Group is marking its 15th anniversary. Interfax was set up by several officials of Moscow Radio (International Broadcasting) as the first independent news agency at a time when the decline of the Soviet era was imminent.

Today‘s Interfax is an international information group that comprises around 30 companies.
Since its establishment, Interfax has developed into a key source for analysis of information and up-to-the-minute political and economic news from Russia, the CIS, China and Eastern Europe for the entire world.
Interfax has thousands of subscribers, including heads of governmental agencies in a large number of countries worldwide, major international corporations, banks and nearly all leading global media groups.
Reporters from newspapers, magazines, international news agencies covering Russia and other CIS nations rely on Interfax for fast and reliable news.
At the end of the 1980s, Interfax was the first to add the term ‘economic information‘ to the Soviet vocabulary. Over the past 15 years, Interfax Group has become a leading source of economic news on Russia and other CIS countries. Thousands of bankers, oil sector officials, company heads and stock market players are guided by its information when making decisions on a daily basis.
Over the past few years, Interfax has taken steps to considerably expand its range of services for stock market participants - SPARK, the largest information and analysis database on companies in Russia, which offers key information on the operations of virtually all legal entities registered in Russia, has been created; sophisticated programs for the stock market have been developed; and new publications for insurance market participants have started to come out.
Information projects for various sectors of the economy are developing at a rapid pace. The Gas News Agency (Interfax-GNA), which is today the only independent specialized service in Russia and the CIS offering information on the gas sector, has joined the Financial Information Agency (Interfax-FIA) and Petroleum Information Agency (Interfax-PIA), the recognized leaders in their fields.
Our Military News Agency (Interfax-AVN), which became a member of Interfax Group in 2001, occupies an important place on the information market. AVN, which is a unique service in Russia, has gained a high reputation for its comprehensive and professional coverage of the armed forces and defense sector affairs.
Interfax views the creation of a single information space in Russia as one of its strategic tasks. To reach this objective, Interfax is engaged in a program aimed at setting up news agencies in all of Russia‘s federal districts. Today such agencies operate in the Central Federal District (Interfax-Center), the Northwest Federal District (Interfax-Northwest), the Volga Federal District (Interfax-Volga), the South Federal District (Interfax-South), the Urals Federal District (Interfax-Urals), and the Siberian Federal District (Interfax-Siberia).
As part of Interfax‘s drive to enter the CIS information market, national agencies united by the Interfax brand successfully operate in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
Interfax Group‘s companies publish more than 100 specialized information outlets in Russian, Kazakh, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Azerbaijani, English and German, which target a variety of audiences.
After several years of cooperation with Factiva, the world largest database, set up by Reuters and Dow Jones, Interfax was rated one of the most used information sources for the world business community. According to Factiva, Interfax is one of the top ten information providers out of over 7,000 such sources worldwide..
In 2003-2004, the international rating agency Moody‘s Investors Service became a major shareholder of Interfax Rating Agency, which was renamed Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency. Moody‘s Interfax Rating Agency is Russia‘s leader in assigning National Rating Scale credit ratings. Other immediate plans call for setting up rating agencies in other CIS countries, with Moody‘s Investors Service acting as a partner.
In September 2004, Interfax announced the creation of one of Russia‘s first credit bureaus. Britain‘s Experian, the world largest credit bureau, in Interfax‘s partner in this project.
"Credit bureaus, like rating agencies and professional, fast analytical information for financial market operators, are major elements of the infrastructure without which a market economy cannot function and expand," Interfax Group president and chairman of the board Mikhail Komissar has said. "When we launch the Experian Interfax credit bureau project, we will again become trailblazers in this specific information field. But we are confident of success," he said.
"Russia is changing and becoming part of the world economy and we grow with it," Komissar said. "Our subscribers throughout the world trust us. This is the reason why we continuously work on improving our news stories and analytical reports; credibility, speed, impartiality and accuracy of details are just some of the requirements that our reports must meet; the steadily increasing number of our clients is the best praise of our work," he said.