GPW, PFR and BIK  agree to establish a joint rating agency

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW), the Polish Development Fund (PFR) and Biuro Informacji Kredytowej (BIK) with the participation of Instytut Analiz i Ratingu (IAiR) have signed a co-operation agreement to develop a joint rating agency: an institution which compiles and provides credit risk ratings of entities, including mainly issuers of bonds. The main objective of the agreement is to build a rating culture in Poland by providing market participants with access to local ratings, economic research and risk profiles of SMEs. The Agency will work to bolster the role of the debt market in financing the economy and help to improve the quality of the Polish capital market by facilitating the risk valuation for investors on the exchange. This is yet another initiative supporting the development of Poland’s capital market. The development of a rating agency is a part of the Plan for Responsible Development.

An independent rating agency should improve the credibility, transparency and safety of transactions in the economy, mainly by facilitating risk assessment for financial and non-financial market players.

“Instytut Analiz i Ratingu has been a part of GPW’s organisation but it has not yet launched operations. The Polish capital market needs a strong, recognisable, local rating agency. I am glad that GPW, PFR and BIK with the participation of IAiR take steps to build a rating culture in Poland in order to eliminate information asymmetries. As we develop a joint agency to offer rating services to a broad group of clients, especially in the SME segment, we bridge a major gap in the local market infrastructure. After all, with all its dynamic development, the Polish debt market has a huge unlocked potential. The Agency will help to tap it: by supporting the credibility of issuers among investors, it will help to grow liquidity on the bond market and make it more efficient,” said Marek Dietl, President of the Management Board of the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

There is no strong local rating agency in Poland providing rating services in the SME segment. The creation of a Polish rating agency will improve market transparency and safety for investors, facilitating access of smaller issuers to capital. The development of the corporate bond market, including covered bonds, is crucial to the entire economy. It helps to improve access of businesses to financing,” said Paweł Borys, President of the Polish Development Fund.

The creation of a rating agency will open access to unique economic research and risk ratings in the segment of small and mid-sized enterprises based on Poland’s largest database of BIK Group.

The project to establish the Agency is well aligned with BIK Group’s philosophy and mission,” said Mariusz Cholewa, President of BIK. “BIK and its subsidiary BIG InfoMonitor have long-time experience in research and provision of credit information of individuals and companies. BIK’s scoring models are an excellent tool of credit risk assessment. This makes us a perfect match for a rating agency which aims to minimise risks. Thanks to the Agency, a number of investors ready to invest in SME debt will have access to risk ratings. This will improve confidence and safety of market players, which are the pillars of BIK Group’s mission,” said Mr Cholewa.

The conditions for the Agency to launch include its registration with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). BIK’s experience spanning 20 years will be most useful in the registration process.

The Agency will launch its operations in the second half of 2018. However, the actual start date of its rating activity depends on ESMA registration, which is a precondition for the publication of ratings. We will provide our research and reports to market participants well before that date,” said Wojciech Lipka, President of Instytut Analiz i Ratingu.