Established in 1979, The PRS Group is among the earliest commercial providers of political and country risk forecasts. The firm and its methodologies for assessing risk are the product of research conducted by Professors William Coplin and Michael O’Leary of the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University in conjunction with the US Department of State and the CIA. The overall goal was to develop an intellectually rigorous way of assessing the various components of country and political risk that could be applied to a range of institutional settings. In the wake of the Iranian Revolution, at which time many foreign firms were nationalized, the importance of this work intensified.
The firm occupies a niche market in the risk sector through the application of two globally recognized, proprietary, quant-driven, and back-tested methodologies: Political Risk Services (PRS) and the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG). A number of products based on these two risk rating systems are produced at regular intervals throughout the year.
Our data ranges from political, economic, and financial risk forecasts and ratings derived from the two methodologies, dating to the early 1980s. The firm also sells data for all the countries covered in its universe, including: real GDP, inflation, current account, external debt, to name several – historically and going-forward one calendar year.
PRS’ projections have been tested against foreign investor losses due to political reasons and found to be most accurate. Studies by researchers have found correlations between ICRG data and International Monetary Fund program implementation, sovereign spreads, and bank lending volume. Others have found ICRG data to “provide information that has great predictive value with respect to future equity returns globally,”6 and to help determine the impact of financial asset shortages in emerging markets on economic growth, asset price bubbles, and the probability of a crisis.
Our clients include: global asset managers, many of the world’s development banks and lending agencies, academics at universities worldwide, and multinational firms with assets held globally, usually in the manufacturing and natural resource extraction sector. Non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and private equity groups also purchase our reports and data on a regular basis and engage the firm in consulting projects.
The risk ratings are determined by our global roster of country and political risk experts, and by our editorial staff using the two methodologies.
PRS is based on the Coplin-O’Leary political and country risk rating methodology. It is the only risk methodology that provides probabilities to alternative political regimes over an 18-month and five-year term.
PRS’ Country Reports are updated at various times throughout each year, although events in some countries may dictate more frequent updates than in other countries. Our reporting services, such as the World Service, are updated monthly. For more information, look at the specific product in the shopping cart.
The ICRG is completely separate from the Political Risk Services line of products. The ICRG’s editor, Dr. Christopher McKee, uses a separate methodology to arrive at its political and country risk ratings. The ICRG also supplies subscribers with the methodology and formulas used to calculate the risk ratings, as well as the data needed to make the calculations. This allows clients to tailor the ratings system to their specific needs.
The ICRG is updated monthly. In each new issue, data and statistical tables are completely updated and new text analysis is provided for approximately 20-25 countries.
For a complete listing of the data available, click here.
Most of our ICRG historical ratings go back to 1984. For more information, click here.
Yes! We have offer several products focused on the academic community built with input from our academic clients. Researchers Datasets, Political Risk Yearbook, ICRG Annual, IRIS Dataset, The Handbook of Country and Political Risk Analysis, and Political Risk Assessment: Concept, Method, and Management.
We offer discounts of up to 50% on our business-focused products for academic use.
University libraries typically purchase our monthly and annual publications for their value as a reference material. Our historical datasets are used extensively by researchers to contribute to the literature by illuminating a range of political and economic phenomena. To see how other academic institutions use our products click here.
Worldwide events of the last several years, from the euro-zone crisis, to terrorist attacks, to the solvency issues affecting many developed nations, make it clear that politics can have a significant impact on the profitability of business and investment and on a range of asset classes. The PRS Group provides the means for risk mitigation as well as the insight in order to exploit political and economic events for profit.
Companies in the finance and investment sector tend to use our services and products in the context of portfolio and risk management, whether it is to advise commodity and currency trading stratagems or to inform the purchase of political risk insurance to protect their investments against financial losses.
Yes. The ICRG methodology is particularly well suited to this since its risk metrics can be re-weighted to reflect firm-specific risk interests. Clients are entitled to monthly consultations with our experts, and larger consultations can be arranged easily.
Yes. Our methodologies are exhaustive in detailing and quantifying political, economic, and financial risk, as well as the impact of various regimes on the policy options facing governments in relation to trade and investment. Whether your firm is concerned about the risk of expropriation, regulatory changes, terrorism or strike activity, and government solvency, to name a few, our forecasts and risk ratings quantify such risks so they can be compared across jurisdictions and over time.
Several of the key metrics we monitor in our risk models for both the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) and Political Risk Services (PRS) Country Reports are a government’s budget balances
“…I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for PRS’s ongoing work to measure corruption and analyze the causes of corruption. The Korean government believes that the International Country Risk…”
Dr. Jin-young Kwak