Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Credit Ratings are Earned

Recently, I've seen some articles written in the papers that talk about a certain fund's good credit ratings, and that it should make use of the credit ratings to support (monetary) the companies that it majority owns.

To me, I think that the writer misses the point about credit ratings. Credit ratings for any organisation are always backward looking. Meaning, it looks at the stuff you invest in, and gives you a credit rating based on it. No matter how good your credit rating is, the moment you invest in something that has a likelihood of defaulting, your credit rating drops. Do you think you will still get a AAA rating if you invest in the toxic assets for example?

There's a limit to how the fund manager can support the companies under its wing, even if its majority owned. The decision to increase the investment in any company all depends on the reason for the cash call. It has nothing to do with the current credit ratings of the big investor.

You cannot use a backward looking instrument to justify for a forward looking investment. It's that simple.

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