MOSCOW Dec 23 Fitch Ratings said on Friday it
had decided to withdraw National Scale Ratings in Russia
following a new law that Moscow is pushing to promote its newly
created domestic rating agency.
Fitch's National Rating scale provides a relative measure of
creditworthiness for rated entities only within the country
The agency said the decision to withdraw national ratings
followed a new regulation that "have resulted in Fitch Ratings'
Russian National Scale Ratings not useable for regulatory
Fitch said it would withdraw around 150 public Russian
National Scale Ratings by March 31, 2017. The agency will
continue issuing international ratings for Russian issuers.
The move follows a similar one made by Moody's earlier this
year. Moody's stopped issuing local credit ratings on Russian
companies, which analysts said was the start of a process that
will eventually allow Kremlin-backed Analytical Credit Rating
Agency (ACRA) to be the main ratings issuer in Russia.
The international agencies will continue to set Russia's
sovereign debt ratings and will also dominate in global ratings
of major Russian assets. But for local ratings, the changes
clear the way for the new national agency to dominate.
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh)