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Wed 8 Jul 2015 07:18 PM

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Saudi regulator accepting applications from credit rating agencies

Capital Market Authority's move is part of reforms aimed at developing the debt market of the world's top oil exporter

Saudi regulator accepting applications from credit rating agencies
(AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's capital markets regulator said on Wednesday it was ready to accept applications for operating licences from credit rating agencies, part of reforms aimed at developing the debt market of the world's top oil exporter.

Agencies which apply before the end of August will be allowed to operate until they receive a licence, which will happen by the end of August 2016, the Capital Market Authority said in a brief statement.

The CMA has previously said it would introduce rules for credit rating agencies in September this year.

Authorities want companies to issue more bonds as a way to reduce excessive dependence on bank loans; encouraging rating agencies to establish themselves in the kingdom is seen as a way to facilitate this.

Also, public credit ratings will be needed to classify assets that banks must hold as part of stricter Basel III regulations, which are being phased in around the world.

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