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11/18/04

Credit agencies accused of being politically biased on Iran's rating

London, Nov 18, IRNA -- International credit agencies were accused of being discriminatory against Iran for downgrading the country's ratings at an economic conference in London.

Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Mohammed Jafar Mojarrad said that he was "troubled by the credit ratings" and suggested that it was "due to political grounds" rather than for any financial reasons.

He was supported at the conference on Wednesday by the managing director of Melli Bank in London Ahmad Azizi, who said that Iran's rating of B+ "does not reflect the realities of Iran's economy."

The accusation followed a presentation by James McCormack, senior director of Fitch Ratings, who insisted that the low standing attributed to Iran was "not just politics."

McCormack tried to justify the ratings, which puts Iran below such countries as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, by questioning why Tehran was able to attract so little foreign investment.

He was supported by the deputy chief executive of the British government's Export Credit Guarantee Department, John Weiss, who said that the structure of Iran's economy was "weak."

Presentations to the conference on 'Fuelling Economic Growth in Iran' praised Iran's management of its debt, while recognizing that they were among the lowest in the world as a percentage of GDP and that the country's standing was as a net creditor.

... Payvand News - 11/18/04 ... --



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