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Rating actions spike as Covid-19 impacts consumer and travel-related sectors

Highlights

A credit alert is CRISIL’s opinion on a sharp and specific development. It conveys that CRISIL will revert shortly on the impact of the development on the ratings of those affected.

The rise in Covid-19 cases and the 21-day lockdown announced by the government would cause large-scale disruption to businesses. Earlier on March 13, 2020, CRISIL had said in a credit alert that credit pressure on India Inc was intensifying. 

CRISIL has reviewed 120 corporates most-affected by the situation, belonging to sectors such as airlines, hotels, tourism, malls, organised brick & mortar retail, multiplexes, and restaurants. 

CRISIL has taken a rating action on 81 companies out of these, while ratings on the remaining 39 have been retained at existing levels. The actions are largely driven by near-term challenges to liquidity, which could impact financial flexibility. A summation of the rating actions are given below: 

These are largely small and mid-sized companies, and some large ones with leveraged balance sheets that are more vulnerable to a sharp slump in cash flows. CRISIL will continue to engage with these clients over near to medium term. 

On the other hand, we foresee 39 companies (see annexure) surmounting the stress because of balance sheet liquidity, unutilised bank lines, and other external financial flexibilities. These companies are not expected to face liquidity issues when it comes to operating expenses and debt repayments in the near term.

Recently, a few public sector banks have started offering loans for credits classified as ‘standard’ with a moratorium on repayment and concessional interest rates to tide over cash flow mismatches arising out of current lockdown on businesses. These can offset liquidity constraints to some extent, but revenue-related challenges will continue in the near term.

CRISIL will monitor the companies for developments that could impact their businesses in the longer run. CRISIL is also looking at other sectors where companies have announced shutdowns to comply with the government directive, and may announce further rating actions shortly.

Annexure
List of 39 companies where ratings are unaffected for now: 

About CRISIL Limited

CRISIL is a leading agile and innovative, global analytics company driven by its mission of making markets function better. We are India’s foremost provider of ratings, data, research, analytics and solutions. A strong track record of growth, culture of innovation and global footprint sets us apart. We have delivered independent opinions, actionable insights, and efficient solutions to over 100,000 customers.

We are majority owned by S&P Global Inc., a leading provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide.

For more information, visit www.crisil.com

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About CRISIL Ratings

CRISIL Ratings is part of CRISIL Limited (“CRISIL”). We pioneered the concept of credit rating in India in 1987. CRISIL is registered in India as a credit rating agency with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”). With a tradition of independence, analytical rigour and innovation, CRISIL sets the standards in the credit rating business. We rate the entire range of debt instruments, such as, bank loans, certificates of deposit, commercial paper, non-convertible / convertible / partially convertible bonds and debentures, perpetual bonds, bank hybrid capital instruments, asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, partial guarantees and other structured debt instruments. We have rated over 24,500 large and mid-scale corporates and financial institutions. CRISIL has also instituted several innovations in India in the rating business, including rating municipal bonds, partially guaranteed instruments and microfinance institutions. We also pioneered a globally unique rating service for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and significantly extended the accessibility to rating services to a wider market. Over 110,000 MSMEs have been rated by us.