Rupee Cheers Moody's Upgrade With Mid-Day Surge

20 November, 2017, 02:58 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Rating agency Moody’s has upgraded India’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive

Upgradation of India's credit rating by Moody's is a big news, because it has been done after 14 years, and done at a time when business analysts and observers are severely questioning PM Modi's decisions to implement GST and ban 80% of currencies overnight.

The sovereign rating was lifted to Baa2 from Baa3 and the rating outlook was changed to "stable" from "positive". The Nifty crossed the 10,300-mark but ended at 10,283.60, up 68.85 points.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 33,388.47 points, traded at 33,391.25Apoints (at 2.45 p.m.) higher 284.43 points or 0.86 per cent from the previous day's close at 33,106.82 points.

Moody's Investors Service on Friday raised the sovereign ratings of India for the first time since 2004, citing economic and institutional reforms. Incidentally, Moody's had upped the outlook for India in 2015 and the upgrade was actually more a question of when rather than whether?

"The rating upgrades for IOC, BPCL and HPCL follow the upgrade of the sovereign rating and reflect the strategic importance of the oil marketing companies as they own and operate the majority of the country's fuel refining entities and most of the fuel distribution infrastructure", Moody's said.

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India's economic growth had slipped to an over three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter.

However, the rating agency has warned that if fiscal metrics and the outlook for general government fiscal consolidation deteriorates materially, then the ratings can be improved. The second quarter's numbers would be out by the end of this month.

"However, as disruption fades, assisted by the recent government measures to support SMEs and exporters with GST compliance, real GDP growth will rise to 7.5 per cent in FY18, with similarly robust levels of growth from FY19 onward", it said.

On the other hand, top bankers said the upgrade is good for the markets as capital flows into the country - which were already at a high level before the upgrade - will get a leg-up as a large part of worldwide capital allocations is rating linked. Rajnish Kumar, the chairman of the country's largest lender State Bank of India, said that over time, this would reduce the borrowing costs of the government and financial institutions and result in increased investor confidence in India's growth and reform story. "Maybe, the bank recap move convinced them that India is on the reform path and we mean business".

Over the last two years, India has been lobbying hard with Moody's for an upgrade.

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