September 12, 2019 / 2:07 PM / a month ago

Turkish firms eye deal to launch domestic ratings firm

ISTANBUL, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Turkish financial firms are in talks to take a majority stake in the local unit of Japan Credit Rating Agency, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday, marking a step toward Ankara’s longtime goal of relying less on the big three global agencies.

No final decisions have been made on ownership structure, the source said, who was not authorised to speak publicly about the talks. The participating firms were also unclear.

A spokesperson for JCR’s Turkish unit, JCR Eurasia Rating, declined to comment.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday the group was eyeing a more than 80% stake for about $13 million.

All three major ratings agencies - Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch - have assigned “junk” ratings to Turkey’s sovereign credit.

Last year, as the lira fell sharply, Turkey accused Western credit rating agencies of deliberately attempting to undermine the banking sector when they expressed concern about the impact of the currency sell-off on Turkish banks. (Reporting by Birsen Altayli; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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