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Moody's upgrades 2 Indian banks, affirms others

Moody's upgraded the ratings of Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank and affirmed the ratings of four other banks.

The rating agency said March 11 that it raised the two banks' long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings to Ba2 from Ba3. It also upgraded the banks' baseline credit assessment and adjusted baseline credit assessment to "b2" from "b3."

At the same time, it affirmed the local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India and Canara Bank at Baa3/P-3. The banks' baseline credit assessment and adjusted baseline credit assessment were affirmed at "ba3."

Moody's said the rating upgrades on Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank reflect the improved solvency of the banks, following the Indian government's capital infusion. The government on Feb. 20 announced a capital infusion worth 482 billion rupees into 12 public sector banks in the form of recapitalization bonds.

The affirmations on Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Union Bank of India take into account Moody's expectation that the capital infusion has alleviated some of the downside risks to their baseline credit assessment, adjusted baseline credit assessment and ratings.

While Canara Bank did not receive any capital injection from the government, Moody's said its ratings reflect the expectation that it will be able to achieve a common equity Tier 1 level in line with its peers, given the bank's stable performance.

Moody's changed its outlooks on Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank to stable from positive. The outlooks on the other banks remain stable.

As of March 11, US$1 was equivalent to 69.86 Indian rupees.