Saudi Arabia’s capital market regulator will introduce rules for credit rating agencies next September, part of reforms aimed at modernising the financial sector of the world’s top oil exporter.
The rules, which outline the conduct, activities and supervision of credit rating agencies, will help to develop the country’s capital markets, the Capital Market Authority said in a statement on Tuesday.
To apply for a credit rating licence, companies will be required to have a physical presence in the Kingdom with a minimum capital of two million riyals ($533,000) or working capital that is enough for three months, whichever is higher.
Saudi authorities want to encourage companies to issue more bonds as a way to reduce excessive dependence on bank loans.
Also, public credit ratings will be needed to classify assets that banks must hold as part of stricter Basel III regulations, which are being phased in around the world.