JP Morgan Hired

JP Morgan Hired

Published: May 29, 2013 (Issue # 1761)

MOSCOW— U.S. lender JP Morgan will act as a consultant to Russia’s Finance Ministry with the aim of boosting the country’s credit rating and improving the image of the economy as a whole.

The firm was selected based on a number of criteria such as experience and quality of work, including on the Russian market, and the proposed strategy of interaction with rating agencies, Vedomosti reported.

The ministry did not say how much JP Morgan will receive or how long the contract will last.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said earlier that representatives of one of the world’s three leading rating agencies had arrived in Russia to determine if the current rating is still in effect.

“Currently there is no reason to raise or lower the rating,” said Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov last Thursday.

Last week, domestic rating agency Expert RA issued its first sovereign debt ratings, with Russia getting an A- grade — higher than its current BBB rating assigned by U.S. majors Standard Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Russia also has the third-lowest investment grade, Baa1, from Moody’s.

In February, an agreement was signed by the Economic Development Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund with Goldman Sachs.

The investment bank was hired to improve Russia’s image overseas and attract institutional investors.

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