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Rating Services

Morningstar Announces RMBS Ratings and Analytics, an Investor Focused Surveillance Service for Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Investors

Morningstar, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: MORN) structured credit ratings business will unveil its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) ratings and surveillance analytics service at the upcoming ABS East conference in Miami Oct. 16 to Oct. 19.  The new service, RMBS Ratings and Analytics, will provide institutional investors with cutting edge analytics, Morningstar’s monthly DealView Credit Analysis, and timely letter ratings on thousands of secondary market RMBS ... Read More »

Verisk Analytics, Inc.: Interthinx Responds to Industry Demand and Enhances Collateral Risk Solution

In response to increased regulatory demand and based on feedback from users nationwide, Interthinx announced the release of major enhancements to ValueGUARD®, the firm’s collateral risk solution. The improvements strengthen the already successful platform with data fortification, improved visibility, and an elevated user experience offering interior and exterior MLS photos of neighborhood comparable sales, listings, and distressed property exhibits, as well as interactive ... Read More »

The Evolving Credit Rating Agency Arena

BIIA Co-founder member Outsell Inc. recently published a report providing a deeper analysis of the credit rating agencies (CRA) sub-segment.   This report examines the current competitive positioning of the leaders and identifies potential disruptions to their stronghold.   It highlights budding yet real threats to incumbents, examines firms vying for investors’ surveillance ratings budgetary dollars, and touches on legal and regulatory ... Read More »

Creditreform Rating AG Now a European Credit Ratings Agency

The European credit rating market is on the move. In the light of the call for a European response to the American rating oligopoly, the implementation of the EU regulation on the registration of rating agencies and increasing concerns of just German medium-sized companies on the capital market financing European agencies gain further importance. One of the latest movers on ... Read More »

McGraw-Hill Receives ‘Wells Notice’ from SEC

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MHP), today filed a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) acknowledging that on September 22, 2011, it received a “Wells Notice” from the Commission Staff stating that the Staff is considering recommending that the Commission institute a civil injunctive action against Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”), alleging violations of ... Read More »

McGraw-Hill Companies Announces Comprehensive Growth and Value Plan to Increase Shareholder Value

The comprehensive growth and value plan entails three key elements: Spin-off of Education creating two industry-leading public companies, one focused on Key Global Markets (with financial services as a core element) and the other on Education Streamline operations and reduce cost Acceleration of share repurchasing to US$ 1 billion The announced plan is a response to Jana Partners proposal to ... Read More »

Activist Fund Jana Partners Publishes Details of Proposals to Break up McGraw-Hill Companies

According to the Financial Times (FT) Jana Partners have published  details of its proposals for the company in a regulatory filing on August 22nd, after presenting its ideas to McGraw-Hill’s management.  Jana argues that a four-way split would improve the allocation of capital and result in more focused management at the individual businesses.    McGraw-Hill has brought Goldman Sachs on ... Read More »

‘Changing of the Guard’ at Standard & Poor’s (S&P)

The McGraw-Hill Companies announced that Douglas Peterson (53), currently chief operating officer of Citibank N.A., Citigroup’s principal banking entity that operates in more than 100 countries, will become president of Standard & Poor’s effective September 12, 2011.   Deven Sharma (55), who is currently in that role, will take on a special assignment working on the Company’s strategic portfolio review ... Read More »

Moody’s Q2 Revenues up 27% – Raises Guidance

Moody’s reported revenue of $605.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2011, an increase of 27% from $477.8 million for the second quarter of 2010.  Operating income for the quarter was $270.1 million, a 42% increase from $190.5 million for the same period last year. “Moody’s second quarter results reflected gains in all credit ratings areas, particularly for ... Read More »

McGraw-Hill Companies: Shareholder Activists Seek Break-up

Activist investors from hedge fund Jana and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund (“Teachers”) have bought 5.2% of McGraw-Hill Corporation with the avowed intent of forcing the division of the company into a financial services company and an educational/B2B company.   The activist investors believe that the sum of the parts could be as high as US$17.7bn, while the current market value ... Read More »

Standard & Poor’s Adds Public Finance Data and Risk Analytics to Global Credit Portal®

S&P Valuation and Risk Strategies today announced the launch of powerful new analytics and data capabilities for investors in publicly-financed securities.  Financial Statement Data and S&P Indices® join RatingsDirect® Public Finance on S&P’s Global Credit Portal® investor analytics platform.  Together, these credit analysis tools allow market participants to gain in-depth insight into the creditworthiness of debt securities issued by state and ... Read More »

Moody’s Launches Mobile-Optimized Version of Moody’s.com

Moody’s Corporation announced that it has launched a mobile-optimized version of Moodys.com, allowing market participants to conveniently access Moody’s credit ratings and research specially formatted for smartphones and other mobile devices. The mobile-optimized site is automatically displayed when visiting Moodys.com from any smartphone browser.   Mobile site visitors can quickly access Moody’s Investors Service credit ratings and outlook information, as well ... Read More »

SEC Seeks Tighter Rules for Rating Agencies

Moody’s compliance officer resigns.  It is the fourth compliance officer in three years. On May 18th 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission advanced the rules for public comment after a 5-0 vote.  The new rules, which were required under the financial overhaul passed last year by Congress, would force the agencies to provide more details about how they determine each ... Read More »

Observations from the BIIA Forum 2011: Eliminating Asymmetries in Information through SME Ratings

Parag Patki, Managing Director of SMERA offered a different approach.  SMERA was initially set up as a rating agency to provide non-regulatory ratings on SMEs.  In the meantime SMERA is registered under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulations, 1999.   The initial challenges in setting up SMERA were the reluctance of lenders to provide default data, ... Read More »