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ACRA

Категорія — Кредитні рейтинги
By Konstantin Vasilev Member of the Board of Directors of Cbonds, Ph.D. in Economics
Updated February 14, 2024

About ACRA

Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) holds a prominent position as the largest authorized credit rating agency in Russia. With an authorized capital exceeding RUB 3 billion, ACRA boasts a diverse ownership structure consisting of 27 major Russian corporations and financial institutions. Account industry specifics validation is a crucial aspect of ACRA’s credit assessment process, ensuring that rating assessments accurately reflect the unique characteristics and risk factors of different industries, and providing clients with tailored and contextually relevant insights.

ACRA plays a pivotal role in delivering high-quality rating products to the Russian financial market, with a primary focus on entities such as financial institutions, corporate sector companies, and regional and municipal authorities within the Russian Federation. The agency, accredited by The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, assigns credit ratings on both national and international scales, covering a wide array of sectors, from corporate to structured financial instruments.

ACRA

Establishment and Background of ACRA

Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) was established on November 20, 2015, in response to the evolving landscape of credit rating services in Russia. The agency emerged against the backdrop of legislative changes and sanctions, leading to the withdrawal of US-based rating agencies from the Russian market. ACRA quickly became a key player, filling the void left by international agencies. Yekaterina Trofimova served as the initial CEO, steering ACRA through its early stages.

ACRA’s foundational principles align with delivering high-quality rating products to the Russian financial market. Its inception marked a significant shift in the credit rating landscape, as it was anticipated to become the primary ratings issuer in Russia. The agency’s commitment to independence and compliance with regulatory requirements, including registration with The Central Bank of the Russian Federation in August 2016, positioned it as a reliable source for credit assessments.

Ownership Structure and Leadership at ACRA

ACRA’s ownership structure is characterized by a diverse group of 27 major Russian corporations and financial institutions, each holding a share equivalent to 3.7% of the authorized capital. This collective ownership, with a total capital exceeding RUB 3 billion, underscores the agency’s resilience and independence. The Board of Directors, chaired by Karl Johansson from the USA, further solidifies ACRA’s international standing, featuring prominent figures such as Anouar Hassoune (Luxembourg), Klaus Mangold (Germany), and local leaders Vladimir Gusakov and Alexander Voloshin from Russia. The amalgamation of domestic and international perspectives in ownership and leadership highlights ACRA’s commitment to a holistic and globally informed approach to credit rating services.

Mikhail Sukhov, the former Deputy Chairman of VTB, has been at the helm of ACRA as its CEO since April 2020. Sukhov’s leadership brings a wealth of financial expertise to the agency, steering it through the intricacies of the Russian financial market. ACRA’s independent SPV ownership structure ensures transparency and impartiality in its rating assessments, fostering trust and confidence in the reliability of its ratings.

Services Offered by ACRA

ACRA offers a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of its clients in the Russian financial market. At the core of its offerings are credit rating assignments, covering entities such as financial institutions, corporate sector companies, and regional and municipal authorities. ACRA’s credit ratings are conducted on both national and international scales, providing valuable insights into the creditworthiness and risk profiles of various entities. Additionally, ACRA assigns ratings to structured financial instruments, ensuring transparency and reliability in the evaluation of complex financial products.

In addition to traditional credit rating services, ACRA provides innovative assessments in areas such as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores. ACRA integrates green and social principles into its assessments, which include evaluating the sustainability practices and social impact of rated entities, along with providing sustainable development services trainings. These assessments offer insights into the sustainability practices of rated entities, helping investors and stakeholders make informed decisions. ACRA also offers non-credit ratings, including the Asset Management Company Reliability Rating, which evaluates the ability of asset management companies to provide trustworthy services. By offering a diverse portfolio of services, ACRA remains at the forefront of the credit rating industry, delivering comprehensive and reliable solutions to meet the evolving needs of the financial market.

ACRA’s Role in the Russian Financial Market

As the largest authorized credit rating agency in Russia, ACRA’s ratings serve as a crucial benchmark for credit analysis of entities operating within the Russian economy. By assigning credit ratings to a wide range of entities, including financial institutions, corporate sector companies, and regional and municipal authorities, ACRA contributes to the efficient functioning of financial markets, fostering transparency and stability.

Furthermore, ACRA’s presence in the Russian financial market helps to promote investor confidence and attract capital by providing credible and transparent credit assessments. The agency’s commitment to upholding regulatory standards and operating with independence and integrity enhances the credibility of its ratings, making them valuable tools for investors seeking to allocate capital efficiently. ACRA offers convenient automated processing services, streamlining credit rating transactions for clients by providing efficient platforms for submitting requests, accessing reports, and managing credit rating portfolios.

Impact of Legislative Changes on International Rating Agencies

The legislative changes in Russia, particularly the introduction of regulations requiring credit rating agencies to register with The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) and comply with local laws, have had a significant impact on international rating agencies operating in the country. These changes, coupled with sanctions against Russia and geopolitical tensions, prompted several US-based rating agencies to withdraw from the Russian market. Fitch Ratings, for example, decided to withdraw its National Scale Ratings in Russia following the implementation of new regulations that rendered its ratings unusable for regulatory purposes.

The withdrawal of international rating agencies has created opportunities for domestic agencies like ACRA to expand their presence and influence in the Russian financial market. With the absence of major international competitors, ACRA has emerged as a key player, filling the void left by the departure of foreign agencies.

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