Bold move by the rating agency
The rating was affirmed at AAA but lowered to negative from stable. That’s how you get yourself a lawsuit.
- Cites ongoing deterioration in public finances
- Sees general debt to GDP above 130% by 2021
- Expects deficit to narrow to 11% of GDP in 2021
- Expects US economy to contract 5.6% this year
What Fitch had to say:
The Outlook has been revised to Negative to reflect the ongoing deterioration in the U.S. public finances and the absence of a credible fiscal consolidation plan, issues that were highlighted in the agency’s last rating review on March 26, 2020. High fiscal deficits and debt were already on a rising medium-term path even before the onset of the huge economic shock precipitated by the coronavirus. They have started to erode the traditional credit strengths of the US.
They’re not wrong.
Another risk they cite is the possibility of policy gridlock after the election because neither party will get a 60-seat Senate majority.
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlook on India’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Negative from Stable and affirmed the rating at ‘BBB-‘.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The revision of the Outlook to Negative on India’s Long-Term IDRs reflects the following key rating drivers:
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly weakened India’s growth outlook for this year and exposed the challenges associated with a high public-debt burden. Fitch expects economic activity to contract by 5% in the fiscal year ending March 2021 (FY21) from the strict lockdown measures imposed since 25 March 2020, before rebounding by 9.5% in FY22. The rebound will mainly be driven by a low-base effect. Our forecasts are subject to considerable risks due to the continued acceleration in the number of new COVID-19 cases as the lockdown is eased gradually. It remains to be seen whether India can return to sustained growth rates of 6% to 7% as we previously estimated, depending on the lasting impact of the pandemic, particularly in the financial sector.
The humanitarian and health needs have been pressing, but the government has shown expenditure restraint so far, due to the already high public-debt burden going into the crisis, with additional relief spending representing only about 1% of GDP by our estimates. Most elements of an announced package totalling 10% of GDP are non-fiscal in nature. Some further fiscal spending of up to 1 percentage point of GDP may still be announced in the next few months, which was indicated by a recent announcement of additional borrowing for FY21 of 2% of GDP, although we do not expect a steep rise in spending. (more…)
Any surprise? Anyone?
From B- to SD
An ‘SD’ rating is assigned when S&P Global Ratings believes that the obligor has selectively defaulted on a specific issue or class of obligations but it will continue to meet its payment obligations on other issues or classes of obligations in a timely manner.
India’s long-term local currency debt is rated at Ba2 by Moody’s, two levels below the investment grade and at par with Armenia and Turkey. Indian government debt accounts for about 80 percent of GDP. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have a rating of BBB-, the lowest investment grade.
The government’s annual debt repayments will rise to 1.14 trillion rupees in the next fiscal year from 531 billion rupees.
The 10-year yield has risen 62 basis points in the past year, the worst performer during that period among the 10 Asian local-currency debt markets outside Japan, according to indexes compiled by HSBC Holding Plc. It fell 95 basis points in the previous 12 months.
The first of many to come? The outlook would suggest so, after Fitch cut BP’s credit rating in response to its Deepwater spill dilemmas on Thursday — watch negative.
As Fitch’s release suggests, it’s a further headache for BP:
Fitch Ratings-London-03 June 2010: Fitch Ratings has today downgraded BP plc’s (BP) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating to ‘AA’ from ‘AA+’, respectively, and placed the ratings on Rating Watch Negative (RWN). At the same time, Fitch has affirmed BP’s Short-term IDR at ‘F1+’. The ratings of BP Capital Markets plc’s senior unsecured issues, which are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by BP, have been downgraded to ‘AA’ from ‘AA+’ and placed on RWN. BP Capital Markets is BP’s wholly-owned indirect subsidiary.
The downgrade of BP’s ratings reflects Fitch’s opinion that risks to both BP’s business and financial profile continue to increase following the Deepwater Horizon accident in the US Gulf of Mexico. The company has so far repeatedly failed to stop the resultant oil leak and has instead reverted to containment methods that are yet to be fully implemented and are subject to potential weather related disruption. Fitch notes that the drilling of relief wells also poses risks and additional time may be required for them to be fully effective. An additional factor supporting the downgrade is the 1 June 2010 announcement by US Attorney General, Eric Holder, that both a criminal and civil investigation has opened with respect to the oil spill that could have potential negative implications for BP’s financial profile. (more…)