While India’s high debt burden remains a constraint on the country’s credit profile, Moody’s believes that the reforms put in place have reduced the risk of a sharp increase in debt, even in potential downside scenarios.
New York: Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) has on Thursday (16 November 2017) upgraded the Government of India’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive for the first time in 14 years. Moody’s has also upgraded India’s local currency senior unsecured rating to Baa2 from Baa3 and its short-term local currency rating to P-2 from P-3.
The short-term foreign-currency bond ceiling remains unchanged at P-2, and the short-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling has been raised to P-2 from P-3. The long-term local currency deposit and bond ceilings remain unchanged at A1.
The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody’s expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India’s high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term.
Moody’s has also raised India’s long-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Baa1 from Baa2, and the long-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling to Baa2 from Baa3. The short-term foreign-currency bond ceiling remains unchanged at P-2, and the short-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling has been raised to P-2 from P-3. The long-term local currency deposit and bond ceilings remain unchanged at A1.
Since ratings involve judgements about the future, on the one hand, and since they are used by investors as a means of protection, on the other, the effort is made when assigning ratings to look at “worst” possibilities in the “visible” future, rather than solely at the past record and the status of the present. Therefore, investors using the rating should not expect to find in them a reflection of statistical factors alone, since they are an appraisal of long-term risks, including the recognition of many non-statistical factors. – Moody’s
Purpose of Ratings
The system of rating securities was originated by John Moody in 1909. The purpose of Moody’s ratings is to provide investors with a simple system of gradation by which future relative creditworthiness of securities may be gauged.
Gradations of creditworthiness are indicated by rating symbols, with each symbol representing a group in which the credit characteristics are broadly the same. There are nine symbols as shown below, from that used to designate least credit risk to that denoting greatest credit risk:
Aaa Aa A Baa Ba B Caa Ca C
Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa.
Click here for Rationale for upgrading the Rating to Baa2