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ICRA ties up with Bangladesh rating agency

Our Bureau

Kolkata , April 9

ICRA Ltd has entered into a technical tie-up with the newly-formed Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh (CRAB).

Announcing the tie-up here on Friday, Mr D.N. Ghosh, Chairman of ICRA, said the agreement would enable the Indian agency to assist CRAB in drafting rating methodologies and advisory/information services products.

"We intend to support CRAB in a number of areas. We will also train their analysts. In the long run our association will help us understand the local economy better," he told newspersons.

CRAB, according to Mr M. Syeduzzaman, Chairman, has been set up last year by leading professionals from Bangladesh's corporate and financial sectors as well as institutions like Investment Corporation of Bangladesh. It intends to emerge as a major provider of rating and related services.

"The Securities Exchange Commission (of Bangladesh) needs mandatory ratings of public offers of debt securities, equity IPOs issued at a premium and rights issues," he said, adding CRAB will be the second rating outfit in the country. The first - CRISL - was formed a few years ago and has so far enjoyed a monopolistic existence. Till date it has performed about 25 rating assignments.

Mr Syeduzzaman, who was formerly a Finance Minister of Bangladesh, further mentioned that efforts are on to introduce ratings for several other classes of securities. The government has in recent years introduced a number of economic reforms, including those related to the capital markets. Bangladesh has lately seen improvement in economic standards, self-sufficiency in food production and big advances in the services sector.

Mr P.K. Choudhury, MD of ICRA, said that the latest agreement would enable it to push its overseas plans further. The agency, which has so far helped two rating outfits in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, is in similar talks with players in three more countries. Two of them are in Asia, while the third is a European agency.

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