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Chinese rating agency Dagong starts business in Europe

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-13 17:21

MILAN, Italy -- The European branch of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co Ltd, China's domestic rating agency, officially started conducting business in Europe on Thursday after gaining authorization from the European Securities and Markets Authority.

Established in April 2012 in Italy's business capital Milan, Dagong Europe Credit Rating is the first Asian rating company operating in the European Union.

The European branch was the result of a joint venture between Dagong Global Credit Rating in Beijing, one of the few notable non-US-based credit rating agencies, which has a leading position in Asia, and Milan-based Mandarin Capital Partners, a leading private equity fund by institutional investors from Europe and China focused on bilateral cross border transactions.

"Our aim was to bring a new competitor on the European market of rating," General Manager of Dagong Europe Mauro Alfonso told Xinhua. Dagong's market access will help smooth capital flows and mutual investments between China and the EU, he said.

Dagong Europe concentrates on corporate credit ratings, to be assigned to both financial and non-financial entities starting from this summer. Its indigenous credit rating mechanism will introduce a new viewpoint into the current rating system within the EU, Alfonso said.

"The amount of turnover is expected to reach 10 million euros ($13 million) in a few years with a European market share of around 5 percent for the sectors we have started dealing with," he said. The general manager added the idea is to have some 60 ratings issued in five years.

Dagong Europe presently features a team of 12 professionals from various countries, which shall extend to some 40 employees by the end of 2014, Deputy Chairman of Dagong Europe Lorenzo Stanca told Xinhua.

He said that locating the right human resources capable to manage and launch the project in Europe as well as liaise with ESMA was an essential step in order to enter the most important debt market in the world with a large economy.

"Localization has become a fundamental condition for Chinese companies which aim at investing abroad," Stanca said.

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