Moody's Seeks Local Outlet, Talks to Consultants Zinger, Even

Financial consulting firm Zinger and Even is in talks with international credit rating agency Moody's concerning possible cooperation. Moody's is interested in opening an Israeli representation due to its assessment that the current market conditions support extensive activity in rating companies and debt instruments.

In examining possible models for its Israeli operations, Moody's is in talks with Zinger and Even. Moody's generally establishes independent representations and staffs them with its own personnel, making the option of Zinger and Even serving as the agency's foot in the Israeli market unusual.

Senior Moody's officials have recently spoken with Finance Ministry officials about establishing a representation here. International credit rating agency Fitch has also discussed the option of a local representation with the treasury, but has made no final decision.

Zinger and Even, founded 10 years ago by Yossi Zinger, deals in valuations and financial consulting. Zinger refused to comment on the report.

Moody's, with Fitch and Standard & Poor's, is considered one of the three major global ratings agencies. Only one rating agency operates in Israel today - Ma'alot, jointly owned by the major banks, the Association of Broker-Dealer TASE members, the Israel Insurance Association and investment bank Ilanot Batucha. Ma'alot has an information-sharing agreement with S&P.