Rating Agency Malaysia takes full control of Lanka Ratings

Rating Agency Malaysia (RAM) has bought out the Ceylinco Consolidated Group to take full control of its Sri Lankan unit Lanka Ratings Agency, officials said Wednesday. Rating Agency Malaysia (RAM) has bought out the Ceylinco Consolidated Group to take full control of its Sri Lankan unit Lanka Ratings Agency, officials said Wednesday. RAM, which has affiliations to Standard & Poor’s, now owns 100 percent of the Rs. 30.6 million (US$ 306,000) local unit, which is currently Sri Lanka’s second rating agency.

The Ceylinco Group is believed to have sold its 51 percent stake at Rs. 15.6 million.

The change of guard comes as Sri Lanka’s second rating agency, tries to get recognition as serious player in the local debt market.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has also given its blessings for the ownership change by accrediting Lanka Ratings from June 29.

“We have currently got secured mandates from a few financial institutions and RAM’s takeover strengthens our independence,” Priya Thamotheram, Lanka Ratings Chief Executive told LBO.

Lanka Ratings Board of directors will now be staffed by RAM’s representatives who count over 10 years rating experience, she said.

Sri Lanka’s maiden rating agency Fitch Ratings Lanka has been in operation for over five-years. Despite the local capital markets still at a nascent stage, Fitch has rated 58 issues and entities so far.

The local debt market is dominated by government debt that stands at over a trillion rupees.

(US$ 1 = Rs. 100)

-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlk.com