Fitch Ratings announced on 4 September that it has decided to withdraw its Financial Services Board (FSB) credit rating agency registration of its South African subsidiary, Fitch Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.
“The decision reflects Fitch’s desire to maintain an optimal level of analytical resources in each geographic location in which it operates.”
Fitch remains committed to providing transparency and forward looking credit opinions for issuers and investors across the African continent. Fitch is in active discussions with the FSB on how best to achieve this while respecting South African legislation.
A media release on the matter from the FSB reads:
The cancellation of the registration means that Fitch Southern Africa, or any other Fitch office or entity, will no longer issue credit ratings for regulatory purposes in South Africa. Activities related to credit rating services, including marketing and advertising of and canvassing for credit ratings by Fitch Southern Africa, are no longer permitted.
To ensure continuity and to maintain financial stability, the ratings issued by Fitch Southern Africa will be valid for a period of 4 months and ratings issued in conjunction with another rating agency will be valid for a period of 14 days after the date of publication of the Notice of deregistration on the Financial Services Board’s (FSB) website. Thereafter, Fitch clients will need to seek a rating from another FSB registered credit rating agency.
As a condition of cancellation, Fitch Southern Africa has been advised by the Registrar to inform its South African clients and rated entities of its de-registration.
The FSB’s Credit Ratings Agency team is available to local and International Investors who are welcome to call or send an e mail with their enquiries to Roland Cooper, telephone number +27 (0) 12 422 2907 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FSB media release, which also contains questions and answers on the matter, can be downloaded from the FSB Website.