Moody’s Investors Service has cut the ratings of eight non-financial companies, including Infosys, TCS, ONGC, and three banks SBI, HDFC Bank and EXIM. It also downgraded seven Indian infrastructure issuers, including NTPC, NHAI, GAIL and Adani Green Energy Restricted Group, by one notch. Issuer ratings of IRFC and HUDCO have also been lowered.
The long-term issuer ratings of eight non-financial companies — Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Oil India Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Petronet LNG, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys have been downgraded. The outlooks on all these ratings are negative. Moody’s affirmed the issuer rating of Reliance Industries but revised the outlook to negative from stable. With regard to ratings of banks, Moody’s has downgraded the long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of HDFC Bank and SBI to Baa3 from Baa2, and the long-term issuer rating of EXIM India to Baa3 from Baa2, with negative outlook. Moody’s has placed the Baa3 long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India and their BCAs under review for downgrade. Moody’s has also downgraded IndusInd’s long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings, with a negative outlook.
What this means
The economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the downgrade of the sovereign rating seems to be the major reason for the rating downgrades. On Monday, Moody’s had downgraded India’s sovereign rating for the first time in 22 years by a notch to ‘Baa3’, which is the lowest investment grade, just a notch above junk status. However, the market performance today clearly indicate that the rating has not disrupted the market sentiments in any big way as markets continued its strong rally for the fifth consecutive days