Domestic Credit Agency to rate companies in the offing

Plans are far advanced for the establishment of a Domestic Credit Rating Agency (DCRA) to rate companies in the country, the Head of the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM) under the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Mr Augustine Simons, has announced.

According to him, the GSE, National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the National Insurance Commission (NIC) have agreed to support the establishment of the DCRA.

Providing update preparations towards the establishment on the sidelines of a workshop on the Bond Market and Ghana’s Fixed Income Market Operations in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Simons said GSE would hold 50 per cent shares of the company, while NPRA held 25 per cent and NIC also held 25 per cent.

He said the financial proposals for the development of the organisation were being developed.

The Head of GFIM disclosed that the World Bank would also provide some seed funding for the establishment of the organisation.

The workshop was organised by the Institute of Financial Journalists (IFEJ) in collaboration with the GSE to educate journalists on the operations of the Bond Market and the Ghana Fixed Income Market to improve their reportage on the market.

He said a Technical Committee had been constituted to develop the proposals for the registration to meet the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“What will cause a little delay for the establishment of the DCRA is the setting up of a Rating Committee and development of methodologies for rating companies and the recruitment of the right personnel for the organisation,” the Head of GFIMsaid.

He said some foreign entities would be consulted to support the drafting of rating methodologies for the DCRA.

Quizzed whether any foreign entity had been consulted to that effect, the Head of GFIM responded in the negative.

Mr Simons said KPMG had been engaged to search and appoint the right people to serve on the DCRA Board.

He said rating an organisation was a technical issue and caution had to be taken to recruit the right calibre of staff for the organisations, saying “This is the reason we are taking our time.”

Stating the mandate of the DCRA, Mr Simons said the organisation would rate banks, financial institutions, pension fund companies, and private companies which wanted to list on the GSE.

He said the DCRA would be an independent body and the shareholders could not influence or have control over the running of the organisation.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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