ArmInfo. International rating agency Fitch hopes to increase the number of its customers in Armenia. "We think, we hope, we hold meetings with financial structures, corporate borrowers and other representatives of big business at the level of owners and managers and we see great interest and awareness of the necessity of passing rating procedures," Fitch's regional head for Russia, CIS and the countries of the Black Sea basin, the managing director of the Moscow office of the agency Dmitry Surkov said on the fields of the conference in Yerevan. According to him, many are aware of the necessity and importance of ratings. This is also important for the regulator, as the ratings give the market more transparency. "I think banks should be interested in having their large borrowers have credit ratings as a factor that they are able to disclose information," Surkov said, adding that it will take time. He noted that the formation of the rating portfolio in each country, as a rule, proceeds according to the scheme: obtaining a sovereign rating, then passing the rating procedures from the side of commercial banks, followed by municipal entities, and then - corporations. But, the expert believes, corporates should have an incentive to the ratings, which are necessary when issuing debt obligations. And here they are faced with banks that are interested in lending and do not want to lose borrowers. But on the other hand, companies should have an interest in unsecured financing.
Surkov stressed that Armenia is moving toward this state of demand for ratings, which Georgia has already come close to. "In Georgia, as an alternative to bank lending, the line of those entering the market of debt obligations in local currency and using the services of rating agencies is expanding," the expert said, expressing hope that Armenia will follow this path. To do this, it is necessary to work on the development of local capital markets.
To note, Fitch agency placed three Armenian banks - Ameriabank, Ardshinbank and ACBA - Credit Agricole Bank, which have the same IDR rating "B +" with a stable outlook. Fitch Ratings has also recently affirmed the long-term ratings on liabilities in foreign and national currencies for Armenia at the "B +" level with a "Stable" outlook. In December of last year, the agency first assigned a long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Yerevan at "B +" and a short-term foreign currency IDR of "B" with a forecast for the long-term IDR "Stable".