A Conference on International Rating as a Factor of Financial Stability took place in Moscow on 29 April 2008. VTB Bank and Standard&Poor's were conference arrangers.
The Conference was attended by Dmitry Pankin, Russian Deputy Minister of Finance, Alexei Savatiugin, Director of Financial Policy Department of the Russian Ministry of Finance, Andrey Kostin, VTB Bank Chairman and CEO, Barry Hancock, Head of S & P`s European Corporate and Governments Services Group, as well as executives from leading Russian companies and newsmen.
Barry Hancock, Head of S&P`s European Corporate and Governments Services
Group, and Andrey Kostin, VTB Bank Chairman and CEO.
The main topic of the Conference was credit ratings assigned by Standard & Poor's and their significance for issuers and investors. In particular, matters such as corporate solvency factors, credit ratings of Russian companies and sovereign risks of the Russian Federation, corporate governance quality assessment and its implications on the company value, review of outlook and risks of the banking sector were covered.
As Mr Kostin said in his address, "In view of growing dependence of international capital markets on credit ratings, those assigned by top rating agencies give great advantages and open a window of opportunity both for issuers and investors. For large Russian companies being VTB Group customers, international ratings are a sort of an admittance card to enter global financial markets, a visit card in the relationship with Western partners".
In turn, Mr Hancock in his statement touched upon practical matters of assigning credit ratings and emphasised that "In a situation of financial markets instability an Standard & Poor's credit rating can be a guide for credit risk assessment and can protect the market from panic. By reducing the uncertainty of credit risk, a credit rating provides issuers easier and more stable access to debt financing, allows them to reduce the cost of capital formation and increase the liquidity of the debt obligations".