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SINGAPORE, June 30 (Reuters) - Singapore's central bank launched a grant on Friday to encourage the use of credit ratings by issuers in the Singapore dollar bond market, a move it said would improve transparency and attract a broader investor base.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said issuers of SGD bonds could claim 100 percent of their credit rating expenses up to a limit of S$400,000 ($290,000).
Investors were hit last year by a rout in Singapore's largely unrated offshore oil and gas bonds when companies defaulted on their debt obligations after a sharp fall in global oil prices.
MAS had said last November that it would consider ways to offset the cost of ratings. It has also repeatedly said that it would like to see more rated issuances in the market.
"MAS strongly encourages all issuers in the SGD bond market to rate their bonds," MAS Deputy Managing Director Jacqueline Loh said in statement on Friday.
"This will help provide greater transparency to investors, broaden the pool of market participants, and grow the SGD bond market."
$1 = 1.3770 Singapore dollars Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Eric Meijer