Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh has started preparation for providing necessary data to the Standard & Poor’s by September next for the country’s first credit rating report, officials said.

The contact team of Bangladesh Bank (BB) asked the authorities concerned Thursday to provide macroeconomic historical data of Bangladesh at the earliest to facilitate preparation of the credit rating report, officially known as sovereign rating.

The request was made at a meeting of the team at the central bank with its Chairman and Economic Advisor of the BB Habibullah Bahar in the chair.

“We’ve started preparation for the first credit rating report through providing necessary data to the Standard & Poor’s. We expect that collection of the historical data from different government agencies will complete by the end of this year,” Senior Executive Director of the BB Khandakar Muzharul Haque said.

The central bank will invite representatives of Standard & Poor’s after collection of the data, he said, adding that the Moody’s would be requested shortly for sending their work plan in this connection.

On June 25 last, Bangladesh signed deals with the two top global rating agencies to analyze the country’s financial health and come up with a rating of its credit-worthiness.

The BB officials said the country would get its first credit rating report by November this year, which will help get hold of an increasing amount of foreign funds.

A country needs to have credit rating if its government and companies want to float bonds in foreign currency, because investors – particularly those from the global financial hubs – evaluate such scores before making investments.

Lack of any rating by global agencies on Bangladesh’s creditworthiness was cited as a major bottleneck to foreign direct and portfolio investments, he said, adding: “We hope these deals would change that scenario.”

The central bank officials also said both public and private sectors can mobilize loans from overseas sources at lower interest rates if the country has a good credit rating report.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-21August09-1:27 am (BST)