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Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 09:59

Russia mulls BRICS credit rating system

By Xinhua
Russia mulls BRICS credit rating system
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2nd left), Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (center), Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd right) and South African President Jacob Zuma pose for the photo session during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA)

MOSCOW - An official with Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that his country looks forward to creating a system involving rating agencies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), claiming leading western agencies downgraded his country's rating out of political motivation.

Evgeny Stanislavov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of Economic Cooperation, believed western agencies' claims that the state of Russian economy has been in the non- investment zone are wrong and have matched "the logic of the consistent and well-orchestrated anti-Russian campaign."

Moody's Investors Service on Saturday slashed Russia's credit rating from Baa3 to Ba1, the junk status, citing the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and the slump of global oil prices, while Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut its rating on Russia from BBB- to BB+ with a negative outlook in late January, putting the country below investment-grade territory for the first time in more than 10 years. "

"(The recent downgraded ratings) are difficult to be explained by purely economic arguments," said Stanislavov, who went on to say economic experts have been discussing an option of founding the independent cluster of the BRICS countries' rating agencies.

"This will contribute significantly to the reformation of current rating system," Stanislavov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

He welcomed the creation of Russia-China joint credit ratings agency Universal Credit Rating Group, which was set up in Hong Kong in 2013, calling it an example of the independent institution that contributes to the competition inside the rating agencies' community.

He slammed Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings - the Big Three credit-rating agencies - for being politically motivated and attempting to influence the emerging market countries by "juggling with numbers and letters."

Deputy Russian Finance Minister Sergei Storchak also warned that Russia may cancel the cooperation agreement with the leading western rating agencies in a response to the recent downgrading, saying it is senseless to negotiate with these "handymen of their political leaders" while paying them fees for issuing the credit ratings.

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