Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has set up a joint rating agency for South Africa with Johannesburg-based Republic Ratings.

The joint venture is the latest of several set up by U.S.-based credit rating agencies with foreign partners.

Paul J. McCarthy, chairman and chief executive of the Chicago-based company, said the South African partnership was aimed at serving investors in Africa and issuers from the region.

"We expect the continued development of different economies on the continent to lead to significant international financing by African firms," Mr. McCarthy said in a statement.

Republic Rating, the largest rating agency in Africa, tracks about 160 organizations, including banks, insurance companies, and large industrial borrowers.

The joint venture will be known as Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. of Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.; it will rate both local- and foreign-currency debt obligations. Duff & Phelps said it expected an increasing number of African firms to begin tapping U.S. capital markets in coming years.

Compiled by James R. Kraus

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