In recent years, 100% of African financial credit rating agencies such as Bloomfield Investment, Wara and GCR have tried to make another voice heard, with rating systems as more realistic.
Stanislas Zeze heads Bloomfield Investment Corporation, an Ivorian credit rating agency created in 2007. For him, African leaders need to understand that it is better to be rated by African agencies than by Anglo-Saxons.
“Unfortunately, we see some countries that are happy with the ratings that Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s give, because they are Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s. It’s a shame, you have to get out of this complex and tell yourself that when S&P or Moody’s gives you a B +, it means “high risk”. There is nothing to be happy about, says Stanislas Zeze.
For him, the mistake of traditional credit rating agencies is not to take into account the specificities of the African economies. Namely, a structural weakness for generating international currency inflows. This is an important point, as it is on the ability to repay a debt in dollars or euros that the major authorities assess the states and companies.
An approach based on local currencies Stanislas Zeze adopts an approach based on local currencies. “It is important today for African states and entities operating on the continent to first have their financial rating in local currency. And only then to establish a banknote in foreign currency. In this way, the investor, whether international, regional or local, will have a panoramic view of the company’s or country’s performance. “
And in the end, the grade will not be the same. Take, for example, the Ivory Coast. The rating from Fitch or Standard and Poor’s is 2B-, which corresponds to “quite high risk”. Bloomfield has a rating of A-, or “low risk”. Because you have noticed that the Ivory Coast has a fairly resilient and fairly efficient economy, even if it has weaknesses, ”he demonstrates. This difference in points will presuppose the credit interest rate that an Étatou a company must borrow.
“Appetite for questions in CFA franc or in naïra” Anouar Hassounedirige Wara, a West African credit rating agency supported by the South African giant GCR. For him, the local currency classification is all the more important as more and more foreign investors are interested in African markets.
“We see foreign investors entering the market in local currencies, and not for international currencies. That is, there are bond investors in the north and also in Asia who have an appetite for issues in CFA francs, in naïras. Therefore, it is important that these investors have access to good quality independent information, ”emphasizes Anouar Hassoune.
The African vision in terms of financial rating is intended to be more accurate and therefore fairer than the Anglo – Saxon vision. It is starting to establish itself in local markets, it must now convince the rest of the world.