S&P Global recently gained approval from the People’s Bank of China to begin rating domestic bonds, making it the first foreign credit ratings agency to break into the country’s interbank market.
The move marks a significant milestone in that China has restricted access to partnerships with Chinese firms by foreign credit rating agencies for over two decades.
“We are honored to establish the first credit rating agency wholly owned by an international investor in China to serve its domestic bond markets,” said Douglas L Peterson, S&P Global president and CEO. “This announcement reinforces our belief that we are uniquely placed to meet the substantial demand from Chinese issuers and investors for transparent, globally understood and reliable credit ratings, data and research.”
Under the terms of its newly-acquired license, S&P Global can rate issuers and issuances from financial institutions and corporates, structured finance bonds and renminbi-denominated bonds from foreign issuers. The move is ideal for China as interest in yuan-denominated assets is increasing.
“We believe that we are best equipped to provide an independent opinion on China’s debt markets as they develop, and we are ready to play our part, said John Berisford, president of S&P Global Ratings.
As the U.S. and China are currently in the midst of negotiations to hopefully end their trade war, Chinese assets could see significant upside if a trade deal arises.