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South Africa ratings firm denies Kenya exit

South Africa ratings firm denies Kenya exit

South Africa-based Global Credit Rating Company (GCR) has denied media reports that it has ceased operations in Kenya while asserting its continued presence in the market.

GCR says it undertook a group restructuring following the purchase of a 49.9 percent stake by private equity firm Carlyle Group, necessitating the application of a new licence which it secured last year.

The company then requested for the relinquishment of the initial licence it held in Kenya, prompting a gazette notice last Friday in which the Capital Markets Authority announced that it had accepted request for revocation of its old permit.

The company will continue to operate its portfolio of more than 50 firms in Kenya under its newer licence.

“Kenya and the Comesa region as a whole is a crucial strategic base for GCR to maintain and in fact enhance its presence, and one that we are exploring additional investment to further penetrate our leading market position,” said Global Credit Ratings CEO Marc Joffe in response to the Business Daily’s queries.

In total, three credit rating companies are licensed to operate in Kenya, including Agusto and Company Limited and Metropol Corporation Ltd.

But industry players said the sector was bleak as the regulator has not made credit ratings for firms mandatory.

GCR, whose holding company was relocated to Mauritius after the restructure, covers more than 500 rated entities across over 20 African countries.