The capital market makes use of the assessments published by independent rating agencies in order to assist debt providers in estimating the risks attaching to a financial instrument. Currently Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is assessed by Moody's, Standard & Poors (S&P) and Scope. Rating agencies develop an insight into the strategy and future planning of the companies analyzed thanks to regular discussions with their management. Based on this information and on their own quantitative analyses, the rating agencies assess the creditworthiness of the issuers using rating classifications. The rating is the ticket for admission to the debt capital market.