KUALA LUMPUR: International rating agency Moody’s Corporation has acquired a minority stake in Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC).
In a statement issued on Wednesday, MARC said Moody's investment strengthened its position as a leader in the sukuk market as well as Moody’s position as a mainstay of global credit ratings and analytical tools.
MARC said it has been a major player in the sukuk rating space since 2001, having rated the first global corporate US dollar sukuk issued by Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad.
“The rapid ascension of sukuk as the debt instrument of choice has played a key role in MARC further honing its sukuk-rating skills, complimented by MARC’s key capabilities in infrastructure, project and structured finance.
“This led to MARC rating the RM23.35bil Sukuk Musharakah issued by PLUS Bhd which still remains the world’s single largest rated sukuk issued by a corporate, ” it said.
MARC also rated the second-largest single project sukuk issued in the global market, the RM8.98 billion Sukuk Murabahah issued by Jimah East Power.
It had also rated the world’s largest green sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) Sukuk, the RM1bil Sukuk Murabahah issued by Quantum Solar Park (Semenanjung) Sdn Bhd; as well as the RM10bil Sukuk Programme issued by Sunway Treasury Sukuk Sdn Bhd.
MARC’s expertise in rating Islamic bonds saw it winning awards at the Global Islamic Finance Awards where it was named Best Islamic Rating Agency in 2014, and each year from 2016 to 2019.
It has also been recognised for its credentials in rating infrastructure, having won several best-in-class rating awards, underscoring MARC’s dominance in rating highways and ports, in addition to its key capabilities in power and energy.
MARC’s group CEO Datuk Jamaludin Nasir said MARC is a leader in the sukuk rating space, having rated the single largest corporate sukuk issuance and other noteworthy sukuk.
“This strategic partnership with Moody’s deepens MARC’s commitment to the sustainable development of Malaysia’s capital markets.”
Managing director and head of Moody’s Investors Service Asia Pacific Wendy Cheong said: “Malaysia’s robust domestic bond market presents an attractive opportunity for Moody’s, and we are excited to build upon our partnership with MARC and its growing portfolio of ratings and services.”