RAM Ratings, Malaysia's premier rating agency, and Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC), the country's midshore freezone, today signed an MoU to collaborate on RAM Ratings' Labuan Entity Corporate Assessment (LECA) service.

RAM Ratings will work with Labuan IBFC to develop, promote and facilitate the adoption of LECA.

LECA, RAM's new rating service for companies based in Labuan IBFC, evaluates the performance and financial standing of Labuan entities. A customised service, LECA has been formulated in response to Labuan entities looking to encapsulate the global wholesale nature of their business dealings in Labuan IBFC. To ensure reliability and consistency, LECA also applies RAM Ratings' established frameworks for credit and performance evaluation.

"RAM is thrilled to collaborate with Labuan IBFC Inc through this MoU. Having helped develop Malaysia's onshore financial markets over the last three decades, we look forward to expanding our services to the midshore jurisdiction of Labuan IBFC via LECA," said Tan Sri Amirsham A Aziz, chairman of RAM Ratings.

Chris Lee Wai Kit, CEO of RAM Ratings, elaborates: "LECA ratings facilitate clarity, transparency and insights for confident decision-making between Labuan companies and their counterparts. Through this MoU, RAM hopes to contribute to the long-term resilience and growth of Labuan IBFC."                                                       

"Labuan market participants can expect the RAM hallmarks of excellence and analytical rigour when they engage with RAM Ratings. Several Labuan entities have already enquired about obtaining a LECA rating from RAM," he added.

"With Labuan IBFC having entered its 30th-year milestone last year, this bespoke assessment for Labuan entities will certainly add to the maturity of our midshore wholesale financial ecosystem while continuing to enhance our resilience amidst current global challenges.  We also encourage similar initiative by other organisations towards increasing transparency in Labuan IBFC," said Datuk Danial Mah Abdullah, Director-General of Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA).

Meanwhile, Labuan IBFC CEO, Farah Jaafar-Crossby, said: "As the jurisdiction is fast gaining global recognition, this is a coming-of-age for Labuan IBFC and our players. The benefits of transparency which LECA provides will assist us in enhancing our reputation as a transparent, well-governed midshore wholesale financial intermediation centre."

"As we are now home to almost 1,000 global licensed entities, we are keen to encourage intra-Labuan cross business links. For example, LECA will provide an independent first point of assessment between our reinsurance and banking license holders," she added.

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