A day after India's sovereign rating downgraded, Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday cut ratings of eight non-financial companies, including Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), ONGC, and three banks SBI, HDFC Bank and EXIM.
The review for downgrade reflects Moody's expectation that the forward-looking improvements to these three bank's credit profiles will be more hard in the current environment, said the rating agency. The outlook remains negative, it said.
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"Economic disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the downgrade of the sovereign rating are the key drivers for today's rating actions", the release stated. This means, India is just one notch above the non-investment grade or junk grade.
However, most private sector banks have better loss absorbing capacity than their state-run peers because of stronger capitalization and loan loss reserves. Moody's has affirmed CBI and IOB's ratings and BCA with a stable outlook.
Moody's has also lowered India's long-term foreign-currency bond and bank deposit ceilings to Baa2 and Baa3, from Baa1 and Baa2, respectively.
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"The decision to downgrade India's ratings reflects Moody's view that the country's policymaking institutions will be challenged in enacting and implementing policies which effectively mitigate the risks of a sustained period of relatively low growth, significant further deterioration in the general government fiscal position and stress in the financial sector", the ratings agency said.
Bank of Baroda, headquartered in Mumbai, reported total assets of Rs.10.9 trillion at 31 December 2019. The deposit ratings of these banks are at the same level as India's Baa3 sovereign rating.
The Finance Ministry did not reply to a mail seeking comments on the ratings downgrade.
"...the pandemic amplifies vulnerabilities in India's credit profile that were present and building prior to the shock", Moody's said. The agency said that IndusInd's weak funding, as reflected by its high deposit concentration and low share of retail deposits, makes the bank more susceptible to dislocations in financial markets.
In the case of CBI and IOB, Moody's expects the asset quality and profitability pressures due to the coronavirus outbreak will be largely mitigated by the improvements in the banks' credit profile over the past year.
The rating agency has downgraded the counterparty risk rating and counterparty risk assessment of HDFC Bank, PNB, CBI and IOB.
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