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Credit Rating Services

Types of Credit Ratings

International Ratings

Issuer Credit Ratings (for governments, financial institutions and corporates): these summarise an entity's overall creditworthiness and its ability and willingness to meet its financial obligations as they come due. Ratings assigned to an entity are comparable across international borders. Sectors and the types of ratings that may be assigned are given below.

Sovereigns and Local Government

  • Long- and short-term local currency ratings
  • Long- and short-term foreign currency ratings

Banks and other Financial Institutions

  • Long- and short-term local currency ratings
  • Long- and short-term foreign currency ratings
  • Financial strength ratings (an opinion of stand-alone financial health)
  • Support ratings (an assessment of the likelihood that a bank would receive external support in case of financial difficulties)


  • Long- and short-term local currency ratings
  • Long- and short-term foreign currency ratings

Issue Credit Ratings (for bonds, Sukuk and other financial obligations): these are an opinion of an entity's ability and willingness to honour its financial obligations with respect to a specific bond or other debt instrument. The ratings assigned to the debt issues of financial institutions and corporates can be either short-term or long-term, depending on the tenor of the financial obligation. A short-term rating is assigned to debt instruments with an original maturity of up to one year.

Insurer Financial Strength Ratings

Insurer Financial Strength Ratings (IFSRs) provide a forward-looking opinion of an insurer’s capacity and willingness to pay its valid insurance contract obligations when they become due. An IFSR is not specific for any particular policy or product, nor does it address non-policy obligations. IFSRs take into account the standalone assessment of an insurer, as well as the likelihood that the entity would receive external support in the event of financial difficulties. IFSRs are generally long-term local currency ratings but CI Ratings may also assign IFSRs to short-term and foreign currency contractual obligations where appropriate.

National Ratings

National Ratings measure the creditworthiness of issuers or issues relative to all other issuers or issues within the same country, and unlike CI's other ratings are not intended to be comparable across countries. National Ratings are used in countries whose sovereign credit ratings are some way below 'AAA' on CI's international ratings scales, and where there is sufficient demand from capital market participants for such ratings. National Ratings enable the ratings of obligors in a given country to be distributed across a full rating scale (from 'AAA' to 'D'), thereby allowing greater credit differentiation than may be possible under internationally comparable rating scales.

For further information on CI’s credit ratings see Rating Definitions. Or Contact Us