Fitch responds to demand with Kenya National ratings scale launch

Aug 09, 2010

Fitch Ratings is to add Kenya to the countries where its National ratings scale is in use.

The firm has been using National ratings since 1997 in emerging economies that have low investment-grade sovereign ratings and has introduced the scale in Kenya due to demand from both issuers and investors. "Fitch's decision to introduce the National ratings scale in Kenya is driven by the development of the domestic corporate debt capital market," remarked Managing Director and Head of Fitch's Johannesburg office Tertius Smith.

The ratings aim to indicate the creditworthiness of issuers and issues in one country and provide greater accuracy than international scales, potentially making them more useful for investors.

Kenya currently has a Long-term Issuer Default Rating of B+ and the move has come at the same time as the country's central bank announced investors will soon have the option of buying into new infrastructure bonds, valued at 31.6 billion Kenyan shillings (€298 million).