EU bans major credit rating agencies from rating Russia and Russian companies

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The sun rises behind the skyscrapers of the Moscow International Business Center, also known as ‘Moskva-City’, in Moscow, Russia April 23, 2018. Picture taken with long exposure. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/Files

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LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) – The European Union has banned major credit rating agencies from rating Russia’s sovereign debt and the country’s companies as part of its latest sanctions package, the European Commission said on Tuesday. .

“These sanctions will further increase economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to fund its invasion of Ukraine,” the commission said in a statement.

“They have been coordinated with international partners, including the United States,” he added.

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The three main global rating agencies, S&P Global, Moody’s and Fitch, would risk losing their license to operate in the EU if they flout the ban.

All three have already withdrawn a handful of ratings on Russian companies that have been subject to the toughest US sanctions from OFAC, but Tuesday’s decision would force dozens more. Read more

S&P Global declined to comment on the Commission’s announcement at the request of Reuters. Fitch said it “complies with all regulations applicable to credit rating agencies,” while Moody’s did not respond to emails or calls.

Other measures in the EU package included an import ban on Russian steel products currently subject to EU safeguard measures, which it said would be worth around 3.3 billion euros (330.15 million) of lost export revenue for Russia.

There has also been a ban on the export of luxury goods such as luxury cars and jewelry, and an increase in the number of wealthy people sanctioned with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

($1 = 0.9087 euros)

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Reporting by Marc Jones Editing by Saikat Chatterjee and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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