Moody’s acquires stake in MARC, strengthening presence in key ASEAN markets

Moody’s acquires stake in MARC, strengthening presence in key ASEAN markets

KUALA LUMPUR: Moody’s Corporation has acquired a minority stake in Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC), a credit rating agency serving the Malaysian domestic bond and sukuk markets.

The investment strengthens Moody’s presence in Southeast Asia and across domestic bond markets globally, advancing its position as a leader in Islamic finance.

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 programmes.

“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,” managing director and head of Moody’s Investors Services Asia Pacific Wendy Cheong said in a statement.

She said the investment also 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, Cheong added.

Meanwhile, MARC group chief executive officer Datuk Jamaludin Nasir said the credit rating agency is a leader in the sukuk rating space, having rated the single largest corporate sukuk issuance and other noteworthy sukuk.

“This strategic partnership with Moody’s deepens MARC’s commitment to the sustainable development of Malaysia’s capital markets,” he said.

MARC was named the Best Islamic Rating Agency in the Global Islamic Finance Awards in six of the past seven years – in 2014 and each year from 2016 to 2020.

The investment complements Moody’s existing cross-border ratings and research coverage in Malaysia as well as its market outreach activities, including its annual Inside ASEAN conference and Islamic Finance Briefing held in Kuala Lumpur.

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.

The investment was funded with cash and is not expected to have a material effect on Moody’s 2020 financial results.

— BERNAMA