Frequently Asked Questions
International Country Risk Guide (ICRG)
- Who is the PRS Group?
- How do we rate and forecast political and country risk?
- What types of data are sold?
- How accurate are PRS’ forecasts and ratings?
- Who are PRS’ clients?
- How are the risk ratings and forecasts determined?
CountryData Online (CDO)
Political Risk Services (PRS)
- Do you offer any academic-focused products?
- Do you offer academic discounts?
- How are the PRS Group’s publications used in academe?
Investment and Financial Firms
How is the ICRG different from other PRS services?
The ICRG is completely separate from the Political Risk Services line of products. 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.
How often is the data updated?
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.
Who is the PRS Group?
Established in 1979, The PRS Group is the world’s leading quant-driven political and country forecasting and risk rating firm. With its early intellectual roots firmly planted in academe and in joint research with the US State Department and the CIA, the firm now stands alone in the sector by interfacing its longstanding data series with artificial intelligence to produce truly outstanding, predictive results. PRS is also a world-leader in the production of corruption risk data and geo-spatial satellite analysis, and is the only firm of its kind to be recognized by the courts in commercial litigation as authorities in the field.
How do we rate and forecast political and country risk?
The firm occupies an exclusive position in the industry 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.
What types of data are sold?
Our data include political, economic, and financial risk ratings and forecasts derived from the two methodologies, dating to the early 1980s. The firm also offers data for all the 140 countries covered in its universe, including: real GDP, inflation, current account, external debt, to name several – historically and going-forward one calendar year. Every data series includes confidence intervals for more precise forecasting.
At a clients’ request, PRS data is now interfaced with a number of artificial intelligence programs to produce outstanding and unique results. For example, ICRG’s composite scores have been forecasted out one year with a 90% accuracy rate! No other firm in the world can offer this type of risk-related service.
How accurate are PRS’ forecasts and ratings?
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.
Who are PRS’ clients?
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.
How are the risk ratings and forecasts determined?
The risk ratings are determined by our global roster of country and political risk experts, and by our editorial staff using the two methodologies.
What data is available?
For a complete listing of the data available, click here.
How far back does historical data go?
Most of our ICRG historical ratings go back to 1984. For more information, click here.
How is PRS different from other services offered by the firm?
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.
How often are reports updated?
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.
Do you offer any academic-focused products?
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.
Do you offer academic discounts?
We offer discounts of up to 50% on our business-focused products for academic use.
How are the PRS Group’s publications used in academe?
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.
How does political risk affect me?
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.
How do investors use PRS’ products?
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.
Can PRS help companies develop a standardized approach to managing their political and country risk exposure?
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.
We want to expand our international presence but need to determine the countries that carry the most/least country and political risk. Can you help?
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.