Moody's gives Modi a boost by raising India's sovereign bond rating

19 November, 2017, 02:31 | Author: Lester Mason
  • Rating agency Moody’s on Friday upgraded India's sovereign credit rating on the optimism that the recent reforms measures introduced by the Modi government would spur economic growth

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the upgrade has recognised Government efforts on fiscal deficit, consolidation and debt control.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the upgradation of India's rating by USA credit rating agency Moody's was not in sync with the "mood of the people".

Moody's also changed the rating outlook to "stable" from "positive" saying the economic and institutional reforms pushed through by the government will help stabilize debt. The markets cheered the move.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 235.98 points or 0.71 percent at 33,342.80 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 68.80 points or 0.67 percent to 10,283.60. "While a number of reforms remain at the design phase, Moody's believes that those implemented to date will advance the government's objective of improving business climate, enhancing productivity, stimulating investment, and ultimately fostering strong and sustainable growth", it added.

Overall inflation rate in the country has declined markedly in recent times and forex reserves have increased to all-time highs, creating significant policy buffers to absorb potential shocks, Moody's said. "India's largest ever increase in Ease of Doing Business rankings, Pew study ascertaining PM's popularity, Moody's upgrade are all reflections of Modi Govt's hard-work and reform process", Amit Shah, the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said in a Twitter post.

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In step with India rating upgrade, Moody's Investors Service today upgraded issuer ratings of nine state-owned firms, including oil producer ONGC, refiners IOC, BPCL and HPCL, power generator NTPC and gas utility GAIL.

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, whose Economic Survey had a piece on the "poor standards" of the rating agencies, echoed these sentiments, noting that the upgrade was long overdue. The second quarter's numbers would be out by the end of this month.

Moody's Investors Service on Friday upgraded India's sovereign rating after a gap of 13 years.

According to Moody's, real GDP growth will moderate to 6.7 percent in the fiscal year ending in March 2018 and will rise to 7.5 percent in the next financial year with similarly robust levels of growth from 2019 onward. "Longer term, India's growth potential is significantly higher than most other Baa-rated sovereigns", it said. Why would they borrow more to invest? HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh said, "I've always felt India's rating was far below than what it should be".

Among the principal policy changes that have contributed to improving India's rating are the implementation of a comprehensive reforms programme, including introduction of the GST, the Aadhaar system of biometric accounts, direct benefit transfer schemes and measures to address bad loans.

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