Bloomfield Investment Corporation
1. Could you briefly introduce your institution?Bloomfield Investment Corporation is a Credit Rating Agency operating on the African continent. Created in 2007 by Ivorian nationals, Bloomfield is a public limited company with a shareholder capital of 150 000 USD. The agency offers various types of services:
- Targeted corporate credit risk assessment for commercial and industrial companies, financial institutions, public organisations, sovereign borrowers, and securities issued as part of structured finance (securitisation);
- Training seminars open to the public;
- Training seminars in companies (in-situ);
- Sector risk analysis; · Country risk Analysis;
- Regional risk analysis.
2. What are your recent achievements and key lessons learnt?Bloomfield Investment Corporation has been able to convinced the financial market authorities of the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union, to introduce mandatory credit rating for certain actors of the union financial market. Thus, since November 2011, all bonds and securities issuers, all guarantors and all financial instruments must be rated. This has been achieved among other thing in spite of the strong resistance from politicians, banks, a number of financial actors and some market regulators. We leant from this experience that no cultural environment will change itself by itself o make unless there is a strong will from some people who truly believe that the change is necessary and will bring a good to the whole population. Thus, they have to manage to make this environment change against all odds. 3. What are your major activities over the coming years?
- For the next 3 years, we plan on putting in place the following activities; Opening a representation in Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria;
- Create one corporate and one country assessment stock exchange INDEX (Bloomfield 20 and Bloomfield Country 12);
- Publishing our country risk and sector risk analysis through the world for investors and decision makers interested in dealing with Africa and investing in Africa.
- Promoting credit rating modules in African Universities by providing courses and seminars in a non degree system or including the credit rating modules in a MBA finance
- Building a state of the art Bloomfield headquarters in Abidjan which reflect the level at which we want to put credit rating and show the evolution of this business in Africa
4. Could you outline some major challenges faced by your institution?The major challenge we are facing in this credit rating business is the receptivity of Africans. Credit rating is a business of transparency and good government. But, god governance and transparency are not values that wildly shared on the continent. So, any attempt to promote these values will always encounter strong resistance from the top to the bottom and the sociopolitical and economic ladder. Also, the limited access to important long term resources in Africa for SMEs, does allow us to have very ambitious projects in the development of our activities.
5. How can Making Finance Work for Africa support your work?There are three things that we believe MFW4A can do for Bloomfield Investment Corporation;
- Publish on your website, all the rating reports released by Bloomfield for investors and stakeholders to have free access to it;
- Assist us in mobilizing potential investors interested in investing in Bloomfield Investment Corporation as shareholders;
- Invite us at all your events intended to promote the financial market in Africa.