Saturday, December 17

Is Fitch Ratings Agency French?

Is Fitch Ratings Agency owned by the French?

France and other countries have just been downgraded by Standard and Poor's ratings agency. France is now rated AA+., but it is worth remembering in all the hoohah and the whingeing by the French about US ratings agencies and God knows what Anglo-Saxon plot to downgrade the worthy and infinitely superior French, that one of the so-called US ratings agencies, Fitch, is actually majority-owned by French holding company Fimalac.

Fimalac, is a holding company that was set up by and is led by Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (they don't come much more French than that - Enarque, billionaire, grand'croix de la Légion d'honneur). He controls the Banque Mutuelle Industrielle, and Fimalac controls FACOM, CASSINA and FITCH (ratings agency).

It currently has operations in three business areas, the first of these being: -

Fitch Group, which is 60%-owned by Fimalac alongside the Hearst Group. Fitch Group is a major financial services operation with a strong presence in the ratings sector (Fitch Ratings).

It has operations in over 50 countries and an average of 3,007 employees.

The French government's reaction to the possibility of a downgrade by the ratings agencies was both staggering and confused. On the one hand they claim that is is not important (despite the fact that their interest rates will rise as a result) and on the other hand they jump up and down and stamp their feet and complain to 'Sir' that those beastly perfidious English should be downgraded first. Dear oh dear.

On top of all that it turns out that one of the ratings agencies is majority-owned by a French company! Perhaps no-one told Sarkozy. Given his obsession with controlling everything, perhaps he should nationalize it?

Check out also the truth about the Zynga IPO