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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

RusRating to Appeal Ruling

Independent ratings agency RusRating said Tuesday that it would appeal a court ruling last month that comments by one of its analysts harmed the reputation of Russky Standart bank.

The appeal will be filed "within the next few days," RusRating CEO Richard Hainsworth told reporters.

RusRating would appeal because "the court failed to make a clear distinction between expressing an opinion and a fact. This is bad news both for rating agencies and for journalists who report their assessments," Hainsworth said.

In December, RusRating downgraded its rating for Russky Standart from B+ to B. In a comment on the downgrade, RusRating analyst Yulia Arkhipova told Profil magazine that "once a client uses Russky Standart's services, they won't come back to them again."

Basmanny Arbitration Court ordered RusRating to pay $800 over Arkhipova's comments. Russky Standart had sought $10 million in damages from RusRating and a further $10 million from Arkhipova. Hainsworth said the judgment was an implied victory for RusRating because "the fine was symbolic and the ruling appeared balanced."

RusRating wants the court to clearly define what constitutes an opinion, as well as to clarify legislation dealing with what damages are awarded for defamation, said Mikhail Borovsky, a lawyer for the agency.

Preston Mendenhall, Russky Standart's director of corporate communications, said Tuesday that the bank had not changed its position. "No reputable analyst or ratings agency makes comments that cannot be backed up by hard data and facts, and there should be no exception for RusRating," he said.