Moody’s acquires stake in Malaysian rating agency
MARC deal strengthens New York-based firm's presence in world's largest sukuk market
12 Aug 2020 | The Asset

Moody’s Corporation has acquired a minority stake in Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC), a credit rating agency serving the Malaysian domestic bond and sukuk markets. Moody’s said the investment strengthens its presence in Southeast Asia and across domestic bond markets globally, and advances its position as a leader in Islamic finance.

MARC will continue to operate as an independent entity and will remain separate from Moody’s Investors Service and its credit rating processes and activities, Moody's says. The investment was funded with cash on hand and is not expected to have a material effect on Moody’s 2020 financial results.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, MARC covers corporates and financial institutions, with key strengths in infrastructure and project finance. In addition to its rating services, MARC provides economic and fixed-income research, credit risk solutions, sustainability-linked offerings and finance-related online training programs.

“Malaysia’s robust domestic bond market presents an attractive opportunity for Moody’s, and we are excited to build upon our partnership with MARC and its growing portfolio of ratings and services,” Wendy Cheong, managing director and head of Moody’s Investors Service Asia Pacific, says in a statement.

The investment strengthens Moody’s presence in Malaysia, a key market within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Malaysia has the region’s largest domestic corporate bond market and has established itself as a global hub for Islamic finance, with the world’s largest sukuk market.

“MARC is a leader in the sukuk rating space, having rated the single largest corporate sukuk issuance and other noteworthy sukuk,” says Datuk Jamaludin Nasir, MARC’s group chief executive officer. “This strategic partnership with Moody’s deepens MARC’s commitment to the sustainable development of Malaysia’s capital markets.”

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