Credit rating agency Crisil is exploring possibilities to set up national level rating agencies in the emerging markets of central and eastern Europe and Gulf countries, along with global ratings major Standard & Poor's.
Confirming the development, Crisil's executive director Roopa Kudva said: "We are in talks with the parties concerned in these regions."
These countries require national level rating agencies as the Basel-II norms stipulate that banks must get their loan assets rated by such agencies.
Crisil has been conducting feasibility studies to launch rating agencies in these countries. It has been examining the possibilities to start a pure technical consultancy service or pick up equity stakes in existing local players.
Each country's rating agencies are evaluated on their own merits. In case of Malaysia and Israel, the talks culminated in a technical consultancy whereas in the case of Caribbean, Crisil has picked up around nine per cent stake in a company there for $3 lakh.
Crisil is currently conducting an executive training programme in India. The issues covered in the programme include preparation required for Basel-II (incorporating sessions on credit, operating and market risk), securitisation and credit analysis on derivatives.
Post the S&P takeover, the employees of Crisil are receiving training from the global partner in order to bring about a greater integration between the two entities. The Indian rating agency has not affected any radical change in its name. However, the possibility of merging both the names (Crisl and S&P) is being explored.
Since Crisil would now be following the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the required legal and accounting integration is being worked out, she added. Crisil has also decided to invest a substantial amount to expand its reach for rating the SME sector.
"Rating agencies could largely serve as a bridge between SMEs and financial markets. Considering this opportunity, we have decided to invest a substantial amount on expanding our reach in this sector," Kudva said.
It is also planning to release data on India's top 50-100 companies, incorporating their industrial outlook, credit commentaries, financial and business profile of the companies.
For investors' convenience, a series of seminars is slated to be held not only within India but also in the South-east Asia, with special focus on Singapore and Hong Kong, aiming at boosting capital inflows into India.