Cash-for-ratings  Probe Nets Former Executives at State-run Credit Ratings Agency

Two former executives at a state-owned credit ratings agency are being probed on suspicion of taking bribes to inflate the ratings of certain companies as the central bank moves to strengthen its oversight of the industry.

Jin Yongshou, a former general manager of Golden Credit Rating International Co. Ltd., and Cui Runhai, a former general manager at the company’s Jiangsu branch, were found to have illegally assisted the unidentified companies for “massive (financial) gain,” according to a Monday statement (link in Chinese) from China’s top anti-corruption agency.

The probe into the two former executives underscores the government’s push to tighten scrutiny of the credit ratings industry in the wake of corruption scandals involving a series of bond defaults by highly rated companies and state-owned agency Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., where both Jin and Cui also previously served as executives.