South Korea-based Lotte Rental has become the first company among its peers to receive investment grade ratings from two of the three main global credit rating agencies.

Lotte Rental, which provides services related to the buying and selling used cars (including auctions), as well as car leasing and subscriptions, received a ‘BBB- (stable)’ rating from Fitch last week, following Moody’s ‘Baa3’ rating for the company in March.

According to Fitch, its investment grade rating signifies Lotte Rental’s “firm market position, stable business structure and asset soundness.” It noting that Lotte Rental’s delinquency rate was among the lowest in the industry.

An unnamed Lotte Rental official told local media: “With this rating, we will strengthen our procurement competitiveness, such as securing overseas investors, and provide greater value to customers and shareholders through continuous growth.”

The key role played by ratings agencies like Fitch in fuelling the sub-prime mortgage debacle that sparked the global financial crisis of 2007/08 — which some might say calls into question their ability to rate anything — appears to have been largely forgotten.

Founded in 1986 and incorporated into Lotte Group in 2015, Lotte Rental generated $2.1 billion U.S. in sales last year and earned an operating profit of $230 million. The company is taking its used-car auction brand to the UAE.

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