As part of its growth and expansion strategy, Nigeria’s foremost rating agency, Agusto & Co has extended its brand to Rwanda where it has organised a credit rating seminar for senior and top management executives.
Having obtained a credit ratings agency (CRA) licence from the Capital Markets Authority in Rwanda, the company is seeking to replicate its success model run of over 20 years in Nigeria to Rwanda and other African countries.
The seminar, organised in partnership with the Capital Markets Authority of Rwanda, attracted participants from banking, pension fund operators and other financial services industry
It was essentially meant expose participants to credit ratings for financial institutions.
Agusto & Coâ€™s entry into Rwanda is as a result of the Countryâ€™s improving economy and impending changes to regulations. Rwandaâ€™s economy is among the fastest growing in the East African region and sub-Saharan Africa, growing at an average of 7% in the last 5 years.
In 2015, Rwandan banks are expected to adopt the Basle II Accord, which embraces the use of external ratings to determine capital requirements under the standardised approach.
Equally, given the expected enactment of the country’s pension draft law, the relevance of rating agency is brought to for as their opinion and expertise will be highly demanded by pension funds.
“Despite the growth in GDP, we believe Rwandaâ€™s economy is still in transition with room for increased development. The business environment is conducive, with regulations making it easy for foreign companies to come into the country. We expect this to continue and therefore the need to create transparency,” said Agusto & Co.
Executive Director Agusto and Co, Mrs Yinka Adelekan, who delivered a paper on â€œImpact of Credit Ratings on Financial Institutions and the Capital Market” at the seminar, emphasised Agusto’s strength, developed over the 22 years of operation in Nigeria.
She re-echoed the companyâ€™s strong brand positioning in every market it plays, the deep knowledge of the economy where it operates, transparent and independent mindedness and its objective rating procedures. These are sound characteristics that make Agusto and Company the company of choice for their partners in every country it operates.
In his remark, The Chief Executive Officer of the Rwandan Capital Market Authority Mr. Robert Mathu reiterated the benefits of credit rating as the independent and internationally recognised way of communicating the financial strength of organisations to lenders and the general public.
He emphasized that rating enhances the ability of banks to develop access to counterparty credit lines for improved liquidity and the capital market to raise money
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwandan Stock Exchange Mr Celestin Rwabukumba, stressed that ratings and accompanying analysis help in disseminating information and imparting transparency to all, including less sophisticated investors. According to him, credit ratings provide a common language for debt markets and a basis to compare securities with similar credit risks.
Agusto & Co. received its credit ratings approval from the Capital Markets Authority (Rwanda) in December 2013 and the CMA (Kenya) in March 2013 and has consistently offered services in several African countries where it operates which include Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana and Rwanda in line with its growth and expansionist strategy.