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SEC Authorizes Morningstar to Rate Financial Institutions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has authorized Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC, a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc., and a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), to rate financial institutions and corporate issuers under its NRSRO registration, according to an announcement from Morningstar Credit Ratings.

Morningstar’s corporate and financial institution credit ratings were recognized as NRSRO credit ratings effective on August 24, 2016. As part of the change, Morningstar, Inc.’s 13-member corporate credit analyst team will move to Morningstar Credit Ratings. Morningstar, Inc., originally launched corporate credit ratings and research in late 2009; since then, Morningstar Credit Ratings has rated more than 260 structured finance transactions representing approximately $170 billion of securities issuance across various types of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), and asset-backed securities (ABS), according to the announcement.

“Morningstar has a long tradition of providing investors with independent and robust research and ratings on all types of investments. Over the past several years, investors have come to rely on our ratings and analysis in the structured finance markets,” Vickie Tillman, president of Morningstar Credit Ratings, said.

According to Morningstar’s announcement, the corporate credit analyst team will continue to provide research, ratings, and analysis for corporate entities. Morningstar Credit Ratings will pursue ratings assignments for security-specific corporate debt offerings, unsecured real estate investment trust (REIT) debt, and financial institutions, the announcement stated.

“The expansion of our NRSRO registration to corporate issuers and financial institutions allows us to bring transparency and unique forward-looking perspectives to investors and issuers and provides a compelling alternative to the other NRSROs,” Tillman said. “Investors will also benefit from the ability to use our ratings to satisfy investment guidelines and determine risk-based capital charges on corporate debt securities.”

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About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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