Turkey takes step in creating local credit rating agency

Traders work at their desks on the floor of the Borsa Istanbul in Istanbul on May 22, 2018. Turkey's embattled currency, the lira, has hit new historic lows against the US dollar after Fitch ratings agency expressed concerns over the central bank's independence in the wake of comments by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey took a step forward in establishing a local credit rating agency by taking over an 85 percent share of the JCR Eurasia credit rating agency based in İstanbul, Turkish media reported on Friday.

The İstanbul Eurasia Rating Agency, which was established in 2007, later partnered with Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR).

According to a statement by the Turkish Banks Association (TBB), 85.05 percent of the company’s shares were acquired by 23 Turkish financial institutions, including Borsa İstanbul, while JCR’s 14.95 percent share would remain.

The agency will give credit notes mainly to banks and companies, the reports indicated, adding that the new ratings would increase the use of loans from national and global lenders.

The idea emerged after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harshly criticized global agencies – in particular Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s — for lowering Turkey’s credit ratings as well as those of Turkish banks and companies.

Erdoğan and his government accuse global agencies of bias.

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