* Japan financial regular orders S&P to improve business
* S&P apologises to clients and market participants
TOKYO Dec 14 The Japanese unit of Standard &
Poor's Ratings Services was reprimanded by the financial
regulator on Friday for mistakes in setting and publishing
credit ratings on complex financial derivatives.
Japan's Financial Services Agency ordered Standard & Poor's
Ratings Japan K.K. to improve its operations after finding it
had failed to account for losses on underlying assets referenced
in so-called synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDO).
The FSA said S&P also published press releases with
incorrect information on ratings, including one in which it
mistakenly assigned to one of the companies under its coverage
the short-term rating of that company's affiliate.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Japan said in a statement it has
already prepared preventive measures to strengthen its
"We take this matter very seriously and sincerely apologise
to clients and market participants for the issues that led to
the recommendation and order," S&P Japan said.
Synthetic CDOs are complex derivatives composed of a
portfolio of credit default swaps and have been blamed for
exacerbating the 2008 global financal crisis.