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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

RusRating Fined Over Comments

Basmanny Arbitration Court sent a strong signal to the investment community Wednesday, after ordering RusRating, an independent ratings agency, to pay damages to Russky Standart bank for harming its reputation.

In her ruling on the case, which has raised concerns about the ability of rating agencies to operate independently and objectively, the judge ordered RusRating to pay $800 in compensation for comments made by one of its analysts in December.

Russky Standart, which sued for $10 million against Western-owned RusRating and a further $10 million from the analyst, expressed satisfaction with the ruling.

RusRating's lawyers said they were disappointed at the result and would consider an appeal "on a point of principle."

In December, RusRating downgraded its rating for Russky Standart from B+ to B. Among comments made to Profil magazine a week later regarding the downgrade, RusRating analyst Yulia Arkhipova said, "Once a client uses Russky Standart's services, they won't come back to them again."

Russky Standart said the comments were one-sided and without basis.

RusRating's defense hinged on the argument that its analyst was expressing an opinion and not stating a fact.

The judge said she would issue a more detailed explanation of her ruling in five days.