Philippine Credit Ratings

The credit rating business in the Philippines started in 1985. At that time, a company known as Credit Information Bureau, Inc. (CIBI) began credit rating commercial papers.

CIBI served as a third-party, independent source of credit information. Ratings were submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as companies need to register with the SEC to issue debt securities to the public.

A credit rating is an opinion that provides a measure of credit quality. It is a grading system which focuses on a company's capability and willingness to pay its obligations upon maturity. A rating is not a recommendation to buy or sell, nor is it a guarantee against loss. It is a tool that investors, regulators, and the general public can use and promotes greater transparency and disclosure in the financial markets.

CIBI then subsequently spun off its rating business into a company now known as Philippine Rating Services Corporation (PhilRatings). PhilRatings, therefore, the pioneer domestic credit rating agency in the Philippines, has been in the credit rating business for the past 23 years. The company has steadfastly pursued its mission of performing its credit rating function amidst cycles in the Philippine economy, global market developments, and even political upheavals in the country. PhilRatings continues to abide by its basic tenets of credibility, competence, and integrity.

From a situation wherein only commercial papers (both short-term and long-term) were credit-rated, PhilRatings has managed to widen its offerings of credit rating services in tandem with developments in the Philippine capital markets. At present, PhilRatings does issue credit ratings (for corporates and financial institutions); issuer or corporate or counterparty credit ratings; as well as credit ratings on structured finance transactions. It has also rated local government units and an insurance company on a private, confidential basis for exclusive use by specific parties and entities.

PhilRatings is an accredited domestic credit rating agency by both the SEC and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It is a member of the Association of Credit Rating Agencies in Asia (ACRAA). To learn more about Philippine Credit Ratings, you can visit the PhilRatings website at www.philratings.com

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, September 17, 2008]


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