Moody’s upgrades India’s short-term foreign currency rating to investment grade

The development will help domestic companies to raise funds from overseas markets at better rates. The latest upgrade comes less than a month after Moody’s had upgraded the credit rating of Indian government’s bonds from speculative to investment grade

New Delhi: Global agency Moody’s today upgraded India’s short-term foreign currency rating from speculative to investment grade, a development which will help domestic companies to raise funds from overseas markets at better rates, reports PTI.

“... there has been another upgrade by Moody’s with the short-term country ceiling on foreign currency bank deposit increasing from NP (not prime) to Prime (P-3), suggesting acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations,” the finance ministry said.

The ‘P-3’ ratings suggest acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.

The latest upgrade comes less than a month after Moody’s had upgraded the credit rating of Indian government’s bonds from speculative to investment grade, a move that was expected to encourage FIIs to increase their exposure in gilts and help companies raise funds from abroad at competitive rates.

On 20th December last year, Moody’s had upgraded short term government bonds denominated in domestic currency from NP to P-3.

Moody’s had upgraded rating on long-term government bond denominated in domestic currency from Ba1 to Baa3 or from speculative to investment grade.

Besides, the long-term country ceiling on the foreign currency bank deposit was also upgraded from Ba1 to Baa3.

Giving a rationale for the upgrade in December, Moody’s had at that time said, “Diverse sources of Indian growth have enhanced its resilience to global shocks”.

It had added the present slowdown “could reverse sometime in 2012-13, as inflation cools from current 9% levels”.

The finance ministry had approached the ratings agency seeking clarification regarding the ‘short-term country ceiling on foreign currency bank deposit’, which had not found mention in the earlier decision by Moody’s.

According to the ministry, the ratings firm has sent it a mail affirming an upgrade in that front as well.

“The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) will continue to engage rating agencies on regular basis to impress upon them the long-term structural strengths and sound fundamentals of the Indian economy,” joint secretary in the capital markets division of the DEA Thomas Mathew said.

Presently, six sovereign ratings agencies—Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, DBRS, Fitch, Japanese Credit Rating Agency and the Rating and Investment Information Inc—assigns ratings to India.

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PM announces new pension scheme for overseas Indians

"I am happy to inform you that the government has decided to introduce and sponsor a new pension and life insurance fund for overseas Indian workers,” prime minister Manmohan Singh said

Fulfilling a long-standing demand, prime minister Manmohan Singh announced a new pension and life insurance scheme for overseas Indian workers that would allow over five million workers, especially those working in the Gulf, to save money for the future.

Announcing the government's decision to introduce and sponsor the Pension and Life Insurance Fund (PLIF) at the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Mr Singh said the scheme will encourage the overseas workers to voluntarily save money for their resettlement and old age.

“I am happy to inform you that the government has decided to introduce and sponsor a new Pension and Life Insurance Fund for overseas Indian workers.”

“The scheme will encourage, enable and assist overseas workers to voluntarily save for their return and resettlement and old age," Mr Singh said in his address that was heard with rapt attention by over 1,900 delegates from 60 countries.”

Mr Singh said the scheme, which was recently cleared by the Cabinet, will also provide a low-cost life insurance cover against natural death.

“This scheme fulfils a long-pending demand of our workers abroad,” he said. Under the scheme, the government will co-contribute Rs1,000 per annum for all subscribers who contribute between Rs1,000 and Rs12,000 per year. Women overseas workers will enjoy a special additional co-contribution of Rs1,000 a year.

Referring to his government's decision to allow non-resident Indians to vote in elections, he said pursuant to the law in this regard the government has issued notifications for registration of overseas Indians under the Representation of People Act, 1950.

Mr Singh said, “This constitutes the first major step to enable Indians resident abroad to participate in our election processes”. In its efforts to merge the People of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India schemes, Mr Singh said the government introduced a Bill in this regard by amending the Citizenship Act in the just concluded Parliament session.

“This will rectify some of the anomalies in the schemes and provide for an Overseas Indian Card which will be given to foreign spouses of such card holders as well,” the Prime Minister said. He noted that the ministry of overseas Indian affairs was implementing the e-migrate project to provide end-to-end computerised solutions for all processes in the emigration system.

The system will link all key stakeholders on a common platform which will be used by workers, offices of the protector of emigrants, recruitment agencies, immigration officials, employers and the Indian missions abroad, he said.

Mr Singh also said the government was expanding the scope of the Labour Mobility Partnership Agreements is being expanded to cover not only skilled workers but also students, academics and professionals.

Such Human Resource Mobility Partnership agreements are being negotiated with The Netherlands, France, Australia and the European Union.

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FDI up 56% in November

Analysts feel that if the trend continues, the FDI in the current financial year would well cross $30 billion, a development which will have a positive effect on rupee in the foreign exchange market

New Delhi: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India went up by an impressive 56% to $2.53 billion in November 2011, signalling improvement in investor sentiment, reports PTI.

The cumulative flows of $22.83 billion for the April-November period have crossed $19.43 billion which came in the full fiscal of 2010-11, according to officials.

Analysts feel that if the trend continues, the FDI in the current financial year would well cross $30 billion, a development which will have a positive effect on rupee in the foreign exchange market.

In the face of selling pressures in the stock market from the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and rising trade deficit, the rupee has declined by about 15% since August.

While the FII inflows are considered “hot money”, the FDI is quite stable.

The improvement in FDI inflows in November comes after two months of declining trend. The country had received $1.62 billion overseas investment in November 2010.

In September and October, the inflows were down by 16.5% and 50% year-on-year respectively.

During the April-November period, the FDI was up by 62.81% from $14.02 billion a year ago.

“At this rate we would be able to cross $30 billion figure by end of the current fiscal,” the official added.

In 2010-11, FDI into equity had dipped 25% to $19.43 billion, from $25.6 billion in 2009-10. In 2008-09, FDI stood at $27.3 billion.

Mauritius, Singapore, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany and the UAE are major sources of FDI for India.

Sectors which attracted the maximum funds include services, construction activities, power, computers and hardware, telecom and housing and real estate.

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COMMENTS

Anil Agashe

5 years ago

Too much is made of this 54% increase. One it is on a ridiculously small base. Secondly the major inflow of $7.5 billion is on account of BP's investment in RIL.No need to look at this as a very positive move. % are quite deceptive.


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