9 Aug 2008

Credit rating agency withdraws its services

5:40 pm on 9 August 2008

The fallout from the troubled finance company sector has claimed another victim - this time it's a firm that rates their creditworthiness.

The New Zealand credit rating agency, Axis Ratings will withdraw its credit rating services.

Axis focused on non-bank finance firms. Managing director Ron Keene says the agency has been hit on two fronts.

He says the collapse in investor confidence and fewer firms means there's unlikely to be enough business to keep going.

Axis will now focus on supplying research material on listed companies to investment companies.

Axis, which was paid by its clients for a rating, had four firms on its books, including St Laurence, Strategic Finance and Instant Finance. It's now withdrawn its credit rating for Strategic Finance.

Under new rules, Axis was seeking accreditation from the Reserve Bank to rate finance companies.

However, Mr Keene says Rapid Ratings, which it licences its technology from, is also focusing on expanding in the United States and could not give it the support it needed.