Citigroup, StanChart to help Myanmar credit rating quest

By KO KO AUNG | FRONTIER

YANGON — Citigroup Inc and Standard Chartered Plc are to advise Myanmar on the steps needed to acquire a credit rating, a move that would pave the way for the country to issue its first international bond, Reuters newsagency reported on July 17, quoting informed sources.

Myanmar’s widening current deficit could be bridged by borrowing if it had a credit rating, used by professional investors to gauge a country’s ability to repay debts, the report said.

The US and British banks were expected to receive formal permission this month to provide the advice, it quoted a source as saying.

Reuters quoted a Central Bank of Myanmar official as saying he was aware of the credit rating move, but could not elaborate.

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The process could take up to a year and once a rating was assigned, Myanmar could use it to market its bond to international investors.

“In general, getting a sovereign rating can be a big step in opening up a country’s economy and financial markets to global business and investment,” Sing Chan Ng, head of Asia-Pacific business origination at Fitch Ratings, told Reuters.

The big three ratings agencies are Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s.

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