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China central bank chief urges less reliance on foreign credit ratings

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BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan on Sunday called on the nation's major financial institutions to enhance their own judgment in making choices and reduce dependence on credit ratings provided by overseas agencies.

Major financial institutions are also urged to clear up certain regulations and policies that are reliant on credit ratings from foreign agencies, said Zhou, who is governor of the People's Bank of China.

"Large financial institutions are different from small ones or retail investors, they should strive to make choices on the basis of their own judgment," Zhou said at an economic forum held Sunday in Beijing.

Zhou also said the global financial markets were largely dissatisfied and doubtful with dominant credit rating agencies through the global economic downturn in recent years, which developed from the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Meanwhile, Zhou said the country should support the development of home-grown rating agencies. However, it's a process that will need the accumulation of talents, information, and experiences.

Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., Ltd., the first domestic rating agency in China, unveiled the country's first sovereign credit rating report in July 2010 that evaluated 50 countries. It also became the first non-Western rating agency to assess the world's sovereign credit and risks.

The report was released at a time when many complained that the Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings were partly to blame for the global financial crisis as well as Greece's debt woes.

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