Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Economy: France to reinforce control over rating agencies

FOCUS Information Agency - France will reinforce control over the rating agencies, whose roles relating to the current Greek financial crisis has been criticized, French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday, as cited by Xinhua News Agency informed.

"It would be sure of controlling them more to make sure they comply with the rules," Lagarde said on French radio Europe 1, referring to the credit rating agencies.

During the past months, some world-class rating agencies have successively degraded the rating of debts of Portugal, Greece, and Spain, provoking a contagion panic over the Greek financial crisis in euro zone.

The European Union criticized that the deteriorating rating neglected the fundamental indicators of Greek economy and the aid plan by the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund.

"I think certain rules should be fixed ... because we don't degrade a country under the conditions that its rating has been degraded, that's to precipitate purchases of sales 15 minutes before the close of trading, deplorable for the solidity of the market," she underlined.

The Europeans are working on a direction, which is expected to take effect in this June, she said.
"I will publish in the coming days sufficient documents to allow the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), which is sort of the Exchange policeman, to supervising the rating agencies and in particular to check that they comply with the ethical rules," the French Minister added. The FMA, an independent public body, is the stock market regulator in France. The European Commissioner for Internal Market Regulation Michel Barnier urged in an interview published Friday that rating agencies should be "disciplined and responsible in their evaluation process." He also unveiled an idea that the Europe Union was considering creating Europe's own rating agency.

See also Sydney Irresistible and Mike Hitchen Unleashed
Putting principles before profits