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Waso Rating Scales


Rating Symbol:
WASO credit rating is an opinion of credit quality of an individual obligation or of issuer’s general creditworthiness. To express the opinion, WASO uses generic rating symbol to describe the status of the respective issue or issuer profile. Additionally, it also uses some auxiliary signal about credit risk through the use of Rating Outlook and Rating watch list designation.

Unless otherwise indicated within the definition, all rating systems are monitored through surveillance. Rating may also be withdrawn for various reasons. The Rating Committee is in full discretion to assign any rating.

Scope of Rating Definitions:
The definitions in this handbook are not intended to provide a detailed view of how ratings are determined. WASO publishes rating methodology for the respective sector and these are designed to described the factors underpinning the WASO’s rating opinion. We encourage reader to review the respective rating methodology.

General Credit Rating Symbol and Definitions:
Issuer Ratings:
Issuer Ratings are opinions of the abilities of entities to honour senior unsecured financial obligations and contacts. WASO expresses issuer ratings on its General short term and long term scales.
Issuer Rating: Long Term

Short Term Vs. Long Term Ratings

Other Rating Symbols

Provisional ratings (P)
WASO will assign a provisional rating when the assignment of a final rating is subject to the fulfillment of contingencies but it is highly likely that the rating will become definitive after all documents are received or an obligation is issued in the market. A provisional rating is denoted by placing a (P) in front of the rating. Such ratings are typically assigned to transaction based structures like bond, debentures that require investor education before investment decision. When a transaction uses a well established structure and transaction’s structure and terms are not expected to change prior to sale in a manner that would affect the rating. A definitive rating may be assigned directly.

Withdrawn (WR)
When WASO no longer rates an obligation on which it previously maintained a rating.

Not Rated
NR is assigned to an unrated issuer or issue.

Rating Outlook

WASO rating outlook assesses the potential direction of a long-term credit rating over the intermediate term (typically six months to two years). In determining a rating outlook, consideration is given to any changes in the economic and/or fundamental business conditions. An outlook is not necessarily a precursor of a rating change or future Rating Watch action. WASO assigns the following outlook :

  • Positive means that a rating may be raised.
  • Negative means that a rating may be lowered.
  • Stable means that a rating is not likely to change.
  • Developing means a rating may be raised or lowered.

Rating Watch Definitions

Rating Watch highlights our opinion regarding the potential direction of a short-term or long-term rating. It focuses on identifiable events and short-term trends that cause ratings to be placed under special surveillance by WASO’s analytical staff. Ratings may be placed on Rating Watch under the following circumstances:

  • When an event has occurred or, in our view, a deviation from an expected trend has occurred or is expected and when additional information is necessary to evaluate the current rating. Events and short-term trends may include mergers, recapitalizations, regulatory actions, performance deterioration of securitized assets, or anticipated operating developments.
  • When we believe there has been a material change in performance of an issue or issuer, but the magnitude of the rating impact has not been fully determined, and we believe that a rating change is likely in the short-term.
  • A change in criteria has been adopted that necessitates a review of an entire sector or multiple transactions and we believe that a rating change is likely in the short-term.

A Rating Watch listing, however, does not mean a rating change is inevitable, and when appropriate, a range of potential alternative ratings will be shown. Rating Watch is not intended to include all ratings under review, and rating changes may occur without the ratings having first appeared on Rating Watch. The “positive” designation means that a rating may be raised; “negative” means a rating may be lowered; and “developing” means that a rating may be raised, lowered, or affirmed.