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To know what is RAM and MARC is doing in the financial sector in Malaysia, we need to know what is the credit rating first. So, credit ratings are forward-looking opinions about credit risk. A credit rating is an opinion of the general creditworthiness of countries, companies and individuals. Lower credit ratings result in higher borrowing costs because the borrower is deemed to carry a higher risk of default. So, what does the rating agency do? They will issue money dominated bonds or commercial papers. They also do the rating reports for online purchase.
As in the Malaysia, there are two major companies that does this kind of activity. Which is Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad and also Rating Agency Malaysia which now known as RAM Holdings Berhad. To begin with, let’s us know about MARC which provides full-service rating agency that provides ratings or issues of commercial papers, bonds, long term and short term debts and preferred shares, as well as asset-backed securities. This company also offers industry analyses, rating reports and rating indices for issuers and investors locally and globally.
Not only that MARC advises the issuers or big players in business, but MARC also provides the advise on Syariah matters regarding financial matter because they have a Syariah Advising Panel. This will allow companies that exercise under Syariah laws to consult and take advises from MARC. Not only that, MARC provides the service of issuing Ringgit denominated bonds or commercial papers. They also make ratings reports for the online purchases. MARC must complete all ratings and they will continue on making continuous surveillance, which they will then review at least once a year.
In this way, the companies that are under MARC’s service will be taken care of. For the rating process, the company need to obtain rating madate which they need come out with strategies and tactics for the company. And then, it will come into information request, which will forward questionnaires to the clients that include specific industry and company clarifications. Only then, they will perform in-depth analysis and evaluation that they will analyze and evaluate credit risk based on the appropriate rating methodology for example, to conduct meeting with management and site visit.
Later on, they will come to assignment rating. This is when they make recommendation to the Rating Committee for a decision on the rating. Then, they will come to a stage of Press announcement and publication of repot which release press announcement and publish credit analysis report upon client’s confirmation. Then the last step is surveillance and monitoring which they will do on-going monitoring of material events that includes industry and regulatory development, operational risks and trigger out of non-compliance to specific terms.
Here, we are going to talk about RAM Holdings. This company was established in November 1990. MARC and RAM Holdings make all issues, offers or invitations of private debt securities that must be rated by rating agencies recognized by the Security Commission, unless exemptions were given by the Securities Commisions. RAM Holdings is a leading provider od independent credit research and advisory services to the companies domestically and internationally. RAM helps the client’s decision-making processes and also value-added service that complement their requirement.
They leads the cultivation of new business and provides training as well as economic research that promotes financial and credit expertise. The best thing is that RAM provides insightful advice and service exceptional quality, integrity and objectivity whether it be domestically, regionally or internationally. Many did not know that RAM provided services to successful companies such as AEON Credit Service (M) Berhad, IOI Properties Berhad, Pasdec Holdings Berhad, British American Tobacca Malaysia Berhad, F&N Capital Sdn. Bhd, Guinness Anchor Berhad, Gamuda Berhad and other big palyers in Malaysia.
So, all in all, credit rating agencies, they gain confidence to the companies thinking that what they are buying is what they think. In term of bond issuing, they wil provide services by bond issues which many onvestors will not buy unrated bonds and that, they will avoid under-subscribed or being offered a price too low for the issuer’s purposes. They also do not only disclose simple ratings but announce watch list which is the rating reviews and outlooks. To make a credit rating, they need mandate.
So, big companies need to have mandate or some kind of strategies for the companies so that they will do parallel with the mandate given. They also act as means of protecting society from excessive speculation using ‘social’ funds by fund managers and to put speculate short term by taking excessive risk. They also provide independent opinions in the credit risks and potential default risk of specific issuers. Last but not least, they promote the transparency on the bond market, information on ratings is widely disseminated to all existing potential private debt securities investors on a timely manner.