Standard & Poor buys 4.9% stake in RAM Holdings Berhad

Tuesday, 29 November 2011 01:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (Standard & Poor’s), the world’s foremost provider of credit ratings, has announced that it is buying a 4.9% stake in RAM Holdings Berhad (RAM) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The purchase by Standard & Poor’s was made by its Singapore entity, McGraw-Hill Asian Holdings (Singapore) Pte Ltd. RAM Rating (Lanka) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of RAM Holdings Berhad, which has been in operation in Sri Lankan since 2005.

Standard & Poor’s and RAM signed an affiliation agreement in 2004 and the two companies have since forged a strong relationship.

Yu-Tsung Chang, Executive Managing Director and Region Head of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services in Asia-Pacific said, “This is an exciting step forward for Standard & Poor’s and we are looking forward to working more closely with RAM. Malaysia is a very important market for us and we believe that deeper cooperation with RAM will allow us to better combine our global capabilities with RAM’s excellent local knowledge and skills.”

Areas for further cooperation between S&P’s and RAM include sharing analytical best practices and research, joint seminars, contributions to industry sector reports and expanded career opportunities for staff.

“Credit ratings are essential to helping private firms get the funding they need to grow. ADB invested in RAM in 1990 to help the company to grow to maturity and now considers that goal to be achieved,” said Robert van Zwieten, Director in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. Surinder Kathpalia, Managing Director and ASEAN Head of Standard & Poor’s said, “After working together for more than six years, we felt that a shareholding in RAM would be a natural next step for deepening our relationship.

We look forward to sharing mutual best practices to benefit Malaysia’s capital markets while providing a platform for promoting RAM’s deep company and sector research to regional and global investors.”

The acquisition of a minority stake in RAM is the latest in a series of initiatives by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services across Asia-Pacific in recent years.

 In April 2011, Standard & Poor’s launched a Greater China scale that supports the wider use of the renminbi for offshore bond issuance.

The scale complements S&P’s ASEAN rating scale to provide investors with a risk benchmark within an ASEAN context.

Standard & Poor’s is the majority shareholder of leading domestic rating agencies, CRISIL in India and Taiwan Ratings Corp. (TRC) in Taiwan.

It also has a mutual cooperation agreement with Pefindo in Indonesia and a technical services agreement with Shanghai Brilliance in mainland China.

In November 2011, Standard & Poor’s was named the credit rating agency of choice for the 11th consecutive year by respondents in the FinanceAsia Fixed Income Research Poll. RAM Ratings Lanka said it welcomes Standard & Poor’s, the largest international rating agency, as one of our shareholders.

RAM will explore areas for cooperation with Standard & Poor’s to bring in new capital market products to the Sri Lankan market.