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IFC INVESTS IN CREDIT RATING AGENCY IN THE PHILIPPINES


L. Joseph  
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 1999 --- The International Finance Corporation will make a 15 percent equity investment of up to US$75,000 in Thomson Ratings Philippines (TRP), which will offer a full range of high quality independent ratings services to the Philippine domestic market using internationally accepted standards.
TRP, which will be capitalized at approximately $500,000, will rate both corporates and financial institutions. Short-term and long-term commercial paper will be the primary instruments rated, but other instruments such as bonds, municipal government issues, and securitized paper will also be rated as these markets develop.
IFC Vice President, Mr. Jemal-ud-din Kassum said that the establishment of TRP is an important step in the development of the peso debt market. It will promote greater transparency and increased disclosure to enable investors to obtain more information on the creditworthiness of local issuers. Corporations would also be encouraged to improve their operations and financial structures to obtain better ratings and lower their cost of borrowings.
The Swiss-based TTC Thomson Holding AG is the main sponsor. The technical sponsor, a subsidiary of TTC Thomson Holding AG, is Thomson Financial BankWatch, the world's largest bank rating agency providing a broad range of ratings, research, and analysis on more than 1,000 banking, securities, and financial firms in 95 countries. Thomson Financial BankWatch is a division of Thomson Financial Services, a leading provider of proprietary financial information.
In addition to IFC's 15 percent stake, TTC Thomson Holding AG will subscribe for up to $425,000 for an 85 percent stake in TRP. Both Thomson and IFC will endeavor to bring in some level of local participation in the future.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to government and businesses.