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Moody's downgrades Indiabulls Housing Finance on funding access challenges

Moody's downgraded Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd.'s ratings due to the company's challenges in accessing funds, as well as governance considerations.

The rating agency on Oct. 14 said it lowered the housing finance company's corporate family rating and foreign currency senior secured rating to B2 from Ba2. It also downgraded the company's foreign and local currency senior secured medium-term note program ratings to (P)B2 from (P)Ba2. The outlook on all ratings, where applicable, remains negative.

Indiabulls Housing Finance's access to funding remains challenging, as reflected by the continued decline in its on-balance sheet loans, Moody's said. In addition, perceptions of weak governance at the company also drove the downgrade, the agency said.

Moody's said the Reserve Bank of India's rejection on Oct. 9 of the company's proposed merger with Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. is credit negative given that the merger would have provided a vote of confidence on Indiabulls Housing Finance's governance. Such an approval would have meant the company passed the central bank's fit-and-proper criteria for becoming a bank.