Drawing parallels

African debt: What about the role of rating agencies?

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Africa’s new debt deals

By Joël Té-Léssia Assoko

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Posted on June 14, 2022 15:50

The global leaders in financial ratings for debt are once again facing a salvo of criticism from some 60 development actors. Here are some explanations and responses from the institutions in question.

This is part 3 of a 5-part series

“A detailed analysis showed that 61 of 154 rated sovereigns were downgraded by at least one of the three major rating agencies during the Covid-19 pandemic. Developing countries were [affected] by almost all sovereign downgrades, negative outlooks and rating revisions,” says the Financing for Sustainable Development Report 2022, which was published on 12 April.

The report, which devotes a long – and largely unnoticed – section to the detrimental impact of the rating agencies’ decisions, was produced by the UN’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development and some 60 multilateral institutions, including the IMF, the World Bank, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the Financial Stability Board.

Partial severity

The study draws a parallel between the severity of the world’s leading

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