February 21, 2018

Moody's morning surprise brings cheers in India

19 November 2017, 02:29 | Frank Carlson

Moody’s upgrade Amit Shah says growth rate will soon touch 7.5

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi

"The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued 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 said in statement.

President of industry chamber Ficci Pankaj Patel said the development underlines the fact that India is moving in the right direction.

The reforms will help improve the business climate, enhance productivity, stimulate foreign and domestic investments, and foster strong and sustainable growth, Moody's said while lifting India's sovereign rating a notch to Baa2.

Nilesh Shah, managing director, Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund, said that that Moody's upgrade is a "recognition for recent economic reforms in India'".

Director General of another leading industry body CII Chandrajit Banerjee said: "The upgraded rating of Baa2 will enable lower cost of borrowing in worldwide markets for Indian businesses and attract more foreign funds flows into India".

"It clearly shows that the economy is turning the corner and poised for a big leap forward, highlighting the huge potential that India offers as a global investment destination", he said. But some economists said an upgrade from the other big rating agencies seemed unlikely. HPCL said the firm would benefit from both lower borrowing costs and a stronger rupee.

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In the case of HDFC Bank, the rating agency has also upgraded the bank's baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted it to Baa2 from Baa3, it said.

Moody's expects real GDP growth to moderate to 6.7% in the fiscal year ending in March 2018 (FY2017), but said in the longer term India's growth potential is significantly higher than most other Baa-rated sovereigns. Moody's India upgrade lifted the market sentiment although oil prices and bond yields remains a worry. "Indian bonds were already trading one notch higher". The Sensex rose 235.98 points to close at 33,342.80, even after paring initial gains.

Atul Pandey, Associate Partner, Khaitan and Co said the present government in last three years has carried out several economic regulatory reforms which has attracted more foreign investment and has also eased doing of business in India.

Over the last two years, India has been lobbying hard with Moody's for an upgrade. On Friday, the government cheered the upgrade as an endorsement of its reforms. Yashwant Sinha, BJP member and former finance minister of India said "It is ironic that just a day before the ratings upgrade, finance minister Arun Jaitley had hinted at a change in the fiscal glide path".

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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