Monday, May 15, 2017

Syren Johnstone on Crediting Ratings and the Moody's Case in Hong Kong (HKLJ)

"Credit Ratings: The Moody's Case"
Syren Johnstone
Hong Kong Law Journal
2017, Vol 47, Issue 1, pp 193-220
Abstract: In Moody’s Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd v Securities and Futures Commission, the Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal was required to determine whether a report issued by Moody’s fell within the scope of Hong Kong’s statutorily defined credit rating regime. The Tribunal determined that the report was either itself a credit rating or part and parcel of Moody’s credit rating services. This article analyses the Tribunal’s determination and concludes that it is flawed primarily as a result of concerns over its application of the purposive construction of statutory provisions and a failure to closely analyse the statutorily defined term “credit rating”. It is suggested that the determination gives rise to problematic consequences including blurring the regulatory perimeter of what constitutes a credit rating and providing credit rating services.

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