Tuesday 08, August 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Moody's granted licence to conduct credit rating activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Moody's Investors Service, a provider of credit ratings and research, welcomed the Capital Market Authority (CMA) announcement that it authorised Moody's to conduct credit rating activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"Given the Kingdom's increasing prominence in the debt capital markets, we look forward to building on our two decades of experience in the region, and continuing to provide insightful, transparent and predictive credit ratings," said Monica Merli, Managing Director -- Regional Head Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Saudi Arabia is also a key market for Islamic finance, an area in which Moody's is recognised as a global thought leader through ratings, research and speaking engagements at leading conferences and events globally. The Kingdom completed the world's largest ever inaugural Sukuk issuance at $9 billion in April 2017, a transaction rated A1 by Moody's.

"Establishing an office in Riyadh demonstrates our continued commitment to the development of the debt capital market in the Kingdom and this aligns with the implementation of Saudi's Vision 2030," says Jehad El-Nakla, General Manager -- Moody's Investors Service Middle East. “A Moody's rating can facilitate access to both domestic and international pools of debt capital and we expect debt issuance to continue to increase in Saudi Arabia as demonstrated by the Kingdom's debut international bond issuance in 2016."

Moody's currently rates 140 issuers and 92 debt programmes across the Middle East, including leading coverage in rating Islamic financial institutions and Sukuk.