Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) held its 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM), themed "Sustainable Transformation for a Resilient Future", via virtual streaming on May 24, 2021.
"MARC's consolidated revenue for 2020 improved by 14% to RM18.99 million as rated corporate issuances showed healthy increases in both value and volume during the year, and consolidated profit before taxes recovered strongly to RM6.18 million in 2020," said MARC Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Nik Thani N.Hassan Thani in his review of the company's results for the financial year ended 31 December 2020. He added that for 2020, MARC continued to maintain a strong portfolio of corporate bond issuers, having assigned 18 new ratings with a total programme size of RM32.1 billion, with 114 rating reaffirmations.
As at December 31, 2020, MARC has completed 754 ratings since its inception, amounting to RM586.4 billion in issuance value.
MARC's bond and sukuk ratings improved in terms of both rating accuracy as well as rating stability in 2020, reaching their highest levels on record. Over the 1998-2020 period, the one-year rating accuracy ratio improved to 70.1% (from 69.4% in 2019), while the long-term rating stability rate improved to 87.2% (from 86.8% in 2019). The long-term rating accuracy ratio measures MARC's effectiveness in predicting defaults, while the long-term average rating stability rate evaluates the frequency and magnitude of rating changes over the period of 1998-2020. The methodology used to compute the rating performance matrix is consistent with global rating agency best practices.
MARC was also honoured by several accolades during the year 2020, having been named as Malaysia's Rating Agency of the Year and as Malaysia's Project Finance Rating Agency of the Year by Hong Kong-based The Asset. MARC was also accorded the Best Islamic Rating Agency Award by Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) for the sixth time for its commitment towards ensuring the sustainability of the Islamic capital market.
Datuk Seri Dr Nik added that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the world economy and all economic sectors unevenly. The Malaysian economy, in particular, has not been spared from the crisis and requires proactive government intervention to counter short-term shocks. MARC expects that the Malaysian economy will experience a less-than-ideal ascend towards pre-COVID levels in 2021. Against this backdrop, MARC estimates the total gross issuance of corporate bonds in 2021 to be around RM100.0 billion to RM110.0 billion.
In his closing remarks, Datuk Seri Dr Nik said, "MARC aims to capitalise on previously established internal capabilities, relationships and investments while continuing to fulfil its role as a valued domestic capital market intermediary. I am confident we will be able to weather these challenging times by delivering an expanded array of products and services to the capital market."
The company's shareholders reviewed and adopted the financial statements and the Board of Directors declared a first and final single tier dividend of 20 sen per share respectively for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.