Johannesburg - Fitch Ratings Agency’s withdrawal from the South African market has been shrugged off as of not much consequence by local economists.
“It is for Fitch to explain themselves… I am happy that Moody’s and S&P (Standard and Poor’s) remain,” was the only comment from First National Bank economist Cees Bruggemans. Fitch on Friday evening announced that it had decided to withdraw its Financial Services Board (FSB) credit rating agency registration of its South African subsidiary, Fitch Southern Africa.
“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,” it said in its statement.
Economist Ian Cruickshanks said it was a bewildering decision by the ratings agency.
“Maybe in these difficult times they are finding it hard to find paying customers, companies are probably reluctant to pay for bad news,” he said.