European Ratings Agency Would Be Good: S&P

One of America’s big three rating agencies believes that a European rival would be would be good for the markets and could help to build confidence among investors.

Standard & Poor’s President Deven Sharma welcomed the competition another rating giant would bring, telling CNBC Tuesday that if "that is where policy makers want to go, I think it will be good for the marketplace."

On Tuesday, rival ratings agency Moody’s followed its peers in downgrading Portugal, a move which many argued was already widely anticipated by the financial markets.

But the downgrade renewed calls for a European ratings agency, with European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet telling French daily Liberation: "It is probably appropriate not to continue to have a worldwide oligopoly of three agencies."

Trichet went on to say that the actions of the ratings giants have exacerbated market swings, “amplifying the rises and falls in the financial markets."

But McGraw Hill's S&P , Moody’s and Fitch are not only facing competition in Europe. China’s leading rating agency, Dagong Global, stripped the UK, US, Germany and France of their AAA ratings, accusing its competitors of being biased towards the West.

S&P’s Sharma denied this accusation. When asked if there was a bias towards Western ratings he said: "I can say it very clearly, none."