Fitch IBCA disinvests shareholding in PACRA

KARACHI (January 23 2003) : Fitch IBCA, the principal shareholder of Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (Pacra), as part of global strategy, has decided to disinvest its shareholding in the rating agency.

According to an information, Fitch, as part of global restructuring strategy, has offloaded the shares, as is being done in certain other overseas affiliates.

Fitch's shareholding has been acquired partially through an employee buy-out and partially through increased shareholding of Lahore Stock Exchange.

The entire arrangement has been duly approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

Pacra would thus continue to provide the full range of rating services in Pakistan.

In a separate arrangement, Fitch has decided to continue to rely on Pacra's assistance for international rating of local financial institutions as part of Fitch's global rating service for subscribers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission last year amended the rules for the rating agency, allowing companies to disassociate themselves from the international partners if they are in operation in the country for over five years. An analyst said it means the agency in five years in association with foreign company has transferred all the expertise and now can alone rate the companies at par with international standards.

Pacra was established in 1994. Since then it has captured 70 percent of the market share and has rated over 25 term finance certificates following the growth of debt market in the country.

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