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MPC unlikely to reduce repo rate in current fiscal

In a unanimous decision by the members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the RBI maintained status quo and continued with an accommodative policy stance in its fifth bi-monthly MPC meeting; this is in line with BWR expectations. The RBI also revised GDP projections upwards to -7.5% from the earlier estimate of -9.5%, considering the improved performance of the economy in the second quarter and the recent recovery seen in high-frequency indicators and urban demand.

Brickwork Ratings expects RBI to maintain pause in upcoming MPC, considering elevated inflation levels

CPI inflation remained above the RBI MPC’s median target of 4% for the last 13 months and in October 2020, the inflation rate touched 7.61%, the highest since May 2014, largely due to the high rate of food inflation. Supply-side disruptions that were seen driving inflationary pressures since the imposition of the lockdown continued, despite the easing of lockdown restrictions. Price pressures are likely to be transient and are expected to ease gradually in the coming months if the economy normalises.

Rebooting steel in second half, but overall demand to contract by 10%-12% in FY21

With strong backward and forward linkages, the Steel industry serves as an engine for economic growth and a symbol of economic prosperity. With steel demand being derived from other sectors such as automobiles, constructions, infrastructure and machinery, its fortune depends on growth in these user industries. Since coal and iron ore are its main raw material, it highly depends on these industries as well.

Revival in economic activity brightens the recovery hopes

After seven months of severe stress triggered by the most severe lock down, there is some good news on the economy. A bountiful monsoon has brought cheer to the farmers, with a record output expected in the Kharif season. With reservoirs filled to the brim, output is expected to be bountiful in the Rabi season as well. Increasing purchasing power in the hands of the farmers is expected to increase rural demand. There has also been appreciable improvement in both manufacturing and service sector performances in October. The manufacturing PMI at 58.9 in October shows the fastest output increase in 13 years. The services PMI after eight consecutive months of contraction has moved into a positive zone, touching 54.1 in October compared with 49.8 in the previous month.

Overall power demand to fall in FY21; rebound expected in FY22

Power Distribution Companies (Discoms) are usually considered weak links in the entire power value chain, with the grim situation of the country’s power sector being attributed to their poor performance, and rightly so. Despite the implementation of various reforms in the past few years, including the financial restructuring of Discoms during 2012-13 and UDAY during 2015-16, most Discoms have failed to improve their operational efficiencies and consequently, their financial performance. High distribution losses, low billing and collection efficiency, and a wide gap between the Average Cost of Supply (ACS) and Average Revenue Required (ARR) are some factors that have plagued the sector for a long time, leading to considerable losses.

Economic Activity Limping Back; Sustained Demand is Key

After six months of severe stress triggered by the severest lockdown so far, there finally is some good news on the economy. Some high-frequency indicators point towards economic recovery. The manufacturing PMI has shown a sharp increase from 52 in August to 56.8 in September, the highest in eight years! GST collections at Rs 95,480 crore in September have recovered to increase by 3.8% from last year and were higher than August collections by 10%. Passenger vehicle sale has increased by 31%. Railway freight traffic showed a 15% increase. After a gap of six months, merchandise exports registered 5.3% growth, driven by outbound shipments of engineering goods, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and readymade garments.

Brickwork Ratings expects RBI to hold repo rate at 4% in upcoming MPC with inflation still above MPC’s comfort zone

The economic damage caused by the lockdown imposed to contain Covid-19 spread manifested itself in the form of the sharpest contraction in the Q1 GDP estimates released on 31 August by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI). The GVA and GDP contracted by 22.8% and 23.9%, respectively, in Q1FY21. The contraction is the highest among the G-20 countries and emerging market economies.

Uncertainty over Economic Recovery Intensifies

The first quarter GDP estimates released on 31 August by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation are clearly disappointing, although not entirely unexpected. The GDP contraction during the quarter was 23.9%, and the GVA shrunk by 22.8%. The strict lockdown implemented in the last week of March that continued until end-May has brought the economy to a grinding halt for the major part of the quarter. Even as lockdown relaxations have been slow and staggered, most metropolitan and large urban centres continue to be severely constrained in terms of economic activities.

Banking Sector Outlook 2020-21

The report covers BWR view on the GDP growth, fiscal deficit, banking credit growth, asset quality, profitability, capitalisation of PSBs and some of the emerging trends in the banking space like digitisation and co-lending model. The report was launched in CII 13th Banking Colloquium held on 15th September 2020.

Brickwork Ratings expects economy to contract by 9.5% in 2020-21

The FY21 first quarter (Q1) GDP estimate released on 31 August 2020 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) clearly depicts the distress in economic activities caused by the lockdown that was implemented in response to the pandemic outbreak. For the first time, the economy has witnessed such a drastic contraction in the quarterly GDP. The grave concern is that these estimates may undergo further downward revisions, given the difficulties in securing real-time data, particularly that related to the unorganized sector, which was severely impacted due to various pandemic-related restrictions in the most part of the first quarter.

Auto components industry to witness much sharper contraction in FY21 owing to pandemic aftermath and already weak automobile sales

In FY20, auto components players’ revenues declined ~8-10% after a y-o-y increase until FY19 on account of a shrinking order book from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) due to lower automobile sales in the country during this period. BWR expects the industry’s revenue to slip further and witness ~15%-18% decline in FY21 on account of lower income levels and continued weak sentiments. BWR expects export revenues to decline as well in FY21 as more than 50% of our exports are to markets in Europe, the UK and the US,

Brickwork Ratings expects Central government’s fiscal deficit to touch ~7% of GDP in 2020-21, against budget estimates of 3.5%

The impact of the lockdown on economic activity shows up starkly in the trends in the Central government revenue collection during the first three months of fiscal 2020-21. As per data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the Central government’s revenue in Q1 of the current year is much lower than collections for the corresponding period last year. Revenue from income taxes (personal income tax and corporate income taxes) was lower by 30.5%, and the GST (CGST+IGST+UTGST) by almost 34% during the period.

Uncertainty over pandemic peak; Economic recovery on slow track

The Financial Stability Report (FSR) released by the RBI recently once again asserted, “The Indian financial system remains stable, notwithstanding the significant downward risks to economic prospects”. While this should provide some comfort, the downward risk arising from the vulnerability of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) in general and Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in particular is worrisome and needs to be addressed immediately. Their balance sheets were under severe strain even before the pandemic hit, and the crisis created by the pandemic and moratorium offered will explode when chickens come home to roost. According to the FSR, under a baseline scenario, the Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPAs) would increase from 8.5% in March 2020 to 12.5% in March 2021.

RBI’s announcement on 90% LTV on gold loans to heighten credit risk for banks: Brickwork Ratings

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as part of its monetary policy announcements today, has allowed banks to increase the permissible loan to value (LTV) ratio for loans to borrowers, against the pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery for non-agricultural purposes from 75 per cent to 90 per cent for all incremental lending upto 31 March 2021. This comes as a positive for individual borrowers as it provides an interim liquidity buffer to tide over the crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also increases collateralised retail lending avenues for banks that have been sitting on excess liquidity.

Going by inflation expectations, Brickwork Ratings expects RBI to hold repo rate at 4% in upcoming MPC

Economic activity came to a complete standstill following the lockdown since 25 March, and a gradual resumption in economic activity was noted only after the lockdown was partially lifted. Several high-frequency indicators have reported marginal improvements since May on the back of the lockdown gradually being eased in several parts of the country. For instance, the PMI composite index, which fell to 7.2 points in April, showed some recovery in May and inched up to 37.8 points in June.

Economy limping back, but normalcy far off

It has been three years since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented with much euphoria. On the midnight of 1 July 2017, the GST was unveiled in the Central Hall of the Parliament and was hailed as a great initiative in cooperative federalism. The tax itself was unique in many ways. This is one of the few cases of subnational GST, and the only comparable experiments were in Canada, the European Union and Brazil. Sijbren Cnossen, an acknowledged expert on the subject, characterised the experiences in these countries as “the good”, “the bad” and “the ugly”. Canada demonstrated to the world that subnational Value Added Tax (VAT) in addition to the federal VAT is feasible.

MSMEs getting a healthy liquidity dose, but demand remains elusive

The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSMEs has started off well, with around Rs 1.2 lakh crore sanctioned and around Rs 62,000 crore disbursed as on 09 July 2020. State Bank of India, Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda are the largest lenders under this scheme, accounting for around 65 per cent of the overall disbursement until date. MSMEs in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka have received the highest disbursements.

Despite contraction in demand, inflation pressures to linger in current fiscal

Recent data on inflation trends points towards a softening movement in price levels in the wholesale price index (WPI), while the consumer price index (CPI) continues to stay at elevated levels, particularly in the food segment. Even before the lockdown was announced, food inflation remained higher in both, the WPI and CPI. This was mainly due to the supply constraint arising from crop damages caused by excessive and unseasonal rains. This hit in supplies has been causing an increase in the prices of most food items, such as vegetables, fruits and pulses. In December 2019, inflation in the consumer food price index (CFPI) peaked to 14.2%, and that in wholesale food price index (WFPI) stood at 11.2%.

Large corporates with strong liquidity hold up ~Rs 3.3 lakh crore of payables to MSMEs

The lowering of the credit period enjoyed by corporates from their MSME suppliers/vendors will ease liquidity pressure on MSMEs.- Liquidity challenges faced by medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) in the past two years aggravated further in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 due to the Covid-19 impact on the Indian economy.

COVID-19 and Growth Challenges

The growth estimate released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) brings into focus some stark and worrisome realities. Firstly, at 4.2%, GDP growth in 2019-20 has been the lowest in 11 years. Secondly, there was sharp and steady deceleration in growth from 5.2% in the first quarter (Q1) to 3.1% in the fourth quarter (Q4). Thirdly, the economy showed sharp deceleration in growth even before the lockdown was announced in the context of COVID-19, and it only exacerbated this decline. Fourthly, deceleration in growth was witnessed in all sectors except agriculture, mining and quarrying, and public administration and defence. The sharpest decline was in the construction sector from 5.3% growth in the Q1 to (-)2.3% - in the Q4, followed by the manufacturing sector from 4% in Q1 to (-) 1.4% in Q4. The contraction in the manufacturing and construction sectors highlights an underlying weakness in the economy.

Brickwork Ratings expects economy to contract by 5.5% in 2020-21 due to COVID-19-related challenges

The GDP data released on 29 May by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) is disappointing. The fourth quarter GDP is estimated at 3.1%; and with substantial revisions in the estimate for earlier quarters, the full-year growth estimate for fiscal 2020 has been revised downwards to 4.2%, which is the lowest in the last 11 years. The estimates are confusing as much as they are disappointing. First, the substantial revisions make the job of estimation very unpredictable. Second, the trend in quarterly data shows that the economic slowdown has been sharp and steady, indicating that the policy response has not been effective. Third, there was a sharp downturn in the economy even before the COVID-19 crisis, and the lockdown has only exacerbated it.

RBI measures provide temporary relief, but fail to incentivise banks to step-up credit to India Inc.: Brickwork Ratings

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), post its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting today, announced the second set of regulatory measures (first set announced on 17 April 2020) to safeguard India Inc. from the impact of COVID-19. BWR believes most announcements made today will largely address the working capital challenges of corporate India in the near term. It will also provide sufficient liquidity to resume operations, with the nationwide lockdown being lifted in a phased manner. However, the announcements fall short of incentivising the banks to increase the pace of domestic credit. BWR believes the reverse repo rate cut should be much higher than the repo rate cut to discourage banks from parking their excess funds with the RBI.

Brickwork Ratings pegs government outflows for Aatmanirbhar package at ~ Rs 1.8 lakh crore in FY21

The Government of India (GoI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI), over the past two months, have announced critical measures to help revive the domestic economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and pump in a series of liquidity boosters into India Inc. This includes the most recent and major announcement of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” package announced last week, which covers a majority of the Indian economy.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Package – Tranche 4

In the fourth tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package titled Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, created as a response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Finance Minister announced a combination of measures to support eight sectors i.e. coal, minerals, defence, aviation, power discoms, social infrastructure, space and atomic energy. These are termed as new horizons of growth.

Utilisation of additional 2% borrowing space by states would be lower

Of the seven announcements made by the Union Finance Minister in the fifth tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package called the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, the most significant one was regarding an increase in the borrowing space for state governments to fight against the COVID-19 crisis. The central government has permitted states to increase their borrowing limits from 3% to 5% of the GSDP for 2020-21. In fact, the Fifteenth Finance Commission, in its terms of reference, was asked to consider “the conditions that the Government of India may impose on states while providing consent under Article 293 (3) of the Constitution”.

Government’s focus on minimising COVID-19 impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of society

In the second tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package called the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan as a response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Finance Minister announced a combination of measures to support poor migrants and small farmers. Many of these measures are an extension of the benefits of measures announced earlier and a part of the 17 April 2020 announcement. Even though, the government has given special attention to the disadvantaged and vulnerable migrant workers and small farmers to minimise suffering on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide them relief to rework on their livelihoods.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Package – Tranche 1

In the first tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package titled Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, created as a response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Finance Minister announced a combination of measures to support small enterprises (MSMEs), NBFCs, housing finance companies, microfinance, power distribution companies, contractors and developers. These measures will certainly provide relief especially to the MSME sector to overcome the crisis.

Lockdown Exit: New Challenges

The partial relaxation from the lockdown in the Indian economy has brought in new challenges. The classification of districts in the country in terms of red, orange and green zones and some relaxations in the orange and some more in the green zones have helped in the limited resumption of economic activities. However, economic activities are concentrated in urban agglomerations, and virtually all of them are in the red zone, where not much activity is permitted. With livelihoods lost, an uncertain future and little reserves to fall back on, millions of migrant workers are understandably impatient, and even as they know about the bleak fortunes, are keen on going back to their roots. Besides the logistic nightmare of transporting them, this may start another wave of the virus spreading in areas not having witnessed the spread so far.

RBI’s stringent provisioning norms to drill a ~ Rs.35,000 crore hole in banks’ profitability

The RBI announced a slew of measures today to support the Indian financial system in mitigating the impact of Covid-19. These measures offer considerable relief to India Inc., especially non-banking financial institutions, in terms of liquidity and credit availment. However, the RBI has also stipulated banks to create a 10% provisioning on all loans that, are overdue but not yet a non-performing asset and; wherein the moratorium has been approved. Banks categorise such loans as special mention accounts (SMA) wherein loans are in the 0-90 days overdue buckets.

Coping with Coronavirus: The Real Battle Begins

Time to abandon fiscal consolidation to revive crippled economy The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the nations confidence. There is no clarity on how long it will take for the nation to emerge from this crisis and how much damage it will inflict on the economy. We, in our living memory, have not seen lives and livelihoods being lost at such a large scale before, and this is shattering our confidence. The complete lockdown of economic activity at such a time when investment activity in the economy has been slowing down not only brings in considerable hardship and misery, but also makes recovery much more difficult.

Increase in Ways and Means Advance Limit to States and UTs

The increase in the Ways and Means Advances (WMA), the overdraft limit to the States and Union Territories (UTs) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by 30% has not come a day sooner. The States are struggling with serious cash flow problems due to the lower revenue realisations from their own taxes, as well as from the Central tax devolution. At a time when they need all the resources to fight the COVID-19 crisis in terms of expanding the significantly stretched healthcare facilities and provide relief to a large number of vulnerable sections, the cash crunch has posed severe challenges in a number of States.

21-Day Lockdown, Governments Unprecedented Move, a Challenge for Corporate India

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has become a full-blown crisis globally, including in India. As a containment measure, to avoid the spread of the disease, most countries have imposed a lockdown; the Indian Government on 24 March 2020 also announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. As per Brickwork Ratings (BWR), this has the potential to create a huge economic disruption, increase pressure on Corporate India and impact their credit profiles. BWR is closely monitoring the unfolding domestic situation and impact on its rated companies.

Massive Monetary Easing by RBI: Forbearance measures and rate cuts a great step to deal with current ambiguity

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) convened its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting well before its scheduled date of 3 April 2020, considering the urgency of intervention in the wake of severe uncertainty caused by the COVID- 19 outbreak. The RBI deserves to be complemented for its comprehensive intervention in advancing an accommodative monetary policy, ensuring adequate liquidity and creating greater clarity through regulatory forbearance. The major announcements by RBI MPC include a 75 basis points (bps) cut in the repo rate to 4.4%, cut in reverse repo by 90 bps to 4%, and the widening of the LAF corridor from 50 bps to 65 bps, in addition to continuing the accommodative monetary policy stance.

MPC expected to cut repo rate to prop-up sentiments; more sector-specific measures remain need of the hour

COVID-19 has posed the mother of all challenges. Besides containing the spread of the virus and protecting people lives, the government has to provide to sustain livelihoods by ensuring adequate liquidity and making cash transfers. It is not clear how long this problem will last; as and when the pandemic recedes, there would be major challenge of reconstruction. Meanwhile, in keeping with the promise of the RBI Governor that the RBI will do whatever it takes, it is reasonable to expect a sharp reduction in the borrowing costs.

COVID-19 pandemic infects, spikes bond yields: Brickwork Ratings

Debt market yields have spiked by 30–64 basis points in March as investor confidence is hit by the current outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (declared a pandemic by the WHO). The rapid spread of the virus has propelled governments and central banks globally to provide multiple stimulus packages, leading to rising costs and higher-than-earlier-envisaged fiscal deficit. Government borrowings and inflation will also increase, along with bond yields, going forward.

HFCs to bounce back with 10-12% growth in fiscal 21: Brickwork Ratings

We expect growth in Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) to rebound to double-digit figures in fiscal 2021 to ~10-12% after a difficult fiscal 2020, wherein loan growth is estimated to be as low as 2%. Funding impairment and a slowdown in housing sales skewed demand for mortgage loans in the past 18 months. The spurt in loan growth in the next fiscal will depend on HFCs successfully redefining their business model to include increased levels of co-lending with banks and continuing the steady pace of loan securitisation, while reducing reliance on short-term borrowings.

RBI Press Conference: Attempt to Calm the Ruffled Markets

Today press conference held by the RBI Governor to announce matters pertaining to the restructuring of Yes Bank and measures to counter the COVID-19 fallout is timely. It was mainly intended to assure the depositors of Yes Bank that their deposits are safe, the restructuring of the bank is well under way and that the RBI will do whatever it takes to ensure this happens. The announcement of an additional rupee-dollar swap is to stabilise the foreign exchange market and the additional Long-Term Repo Operations (LTRO) of Rs 1 lakh crore is to ensure adequate liquidity in domestic markets.

Policy Conundrum in the Wake of Growth Slowdown and the Epidemic Scare

The prevailing economic climate does not bring much cheer. The third quarter estimates show continued slide in the GDP growth estimated at 4.7%, and as there are no indicators yet to show a turnaround, it is doubtful whether the second advance estimate of growth for the current year at 5% can be realised. In addition, the unclear consequences of unprecedented spread of COVID-19 epidemic brings in a lot of uncertainty..

RBI LTRO moves tangos with credit growth, says Brickwork Ratings

The long-term repo operations (LTRO) conducted so far, in batches of INR 250 billion each aggregating to INR 750 billion by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has turned out to be a giant step among the strategic smart moves taken by the Central Bank for achieving multiple objectives.

Budget sets better economic prospects; Fiscal challenges continue to weigh in

Liquidity boosting measures to accelerate rate transmission and boost credit demand Budget proposals and the RBI’s liquidity boosting measures, coupled with previously announced government measures, are expected to bring the domestic economy on an improved growth track in fiscal 2020.

Announcement of liquidity boosting measures to accelerate rate transmission, but absence of demand side boost will constrain the impact of supply side measures

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained the policy repo rate at 5.15%, also maintaining an accommodative stance with a view to revive growth and ensure inflation remains within target. The unchanged rate and stance are both in line with BWR expectations.

MPC to maintain status quo; GDP to rebound in next fiscal

Even as there are expectations of a moderation in inflation from the elevated level of 7.35% in December 2019, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI islikely to maintain the policy repo rate at 5.15% in the upcoming monetary policy meeting to be announced on 6 February 2020. We anticipate the slump in GDP growth has bottomed out to 5% in 2019-20 and expected to rebound in 2020-21 to 5.5-6%, aided by the government measures and the transmission of past rate cuts.

Union Budget 2020-21- A Review

In depth Analysis and Credit Impact on Various sectors.

One more footstep taken towards economic recovery; Nation to attract more foreign flows via VRR - says Brickwork Ratings

The revision in investment limit under Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) to INR 1.5 trillion from earlier limit of INR 750 billion, announced by Reserve Bank of India, is a big positive for debt market as availability of on tap investment facility with first come first serve basis will boost the foreign flows in India at the right time which the nation needs in a bid to shore up its economy. Also, the minimum retention period of 3 years will further help to stabilize the economic situation on the back of voluntary commitment to retain a minimum percentage (75%) of investments for a definite period.

Union Budget - An Opportunity to Unleash Reforms

BWR expects Union Budget to provide a boost to Investments and Savings The Union Budget 2020-21, to be presented on 1 February 2020, is expected to announce appropriate measures to restore the economic growth and to set a clear roadmap for achieving the ambitious USD 5 trillion economy by 2025. Amidst the current slowdown in the economy evident from the 11-year low GDP estimates of 5%, the approach to the economic policy for the next year needs to be genuine and realistic

Little scope for MPC to continue with monetary policy easing at least in the short-term

CPI inflation at 5.5 years high, Crosses MPC's upper band target of 6% for the first time since 2016 As per the provisional estimates on CPI inflation released by MOSPI on 13 January 2020, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) registered an increase of 7.35% for December 2019, on account of sharp uptick in food price inflation led by increase in the prices of vegetables and pulses.

Nascent signs of Economic Revival

Governments measures and Monetary easing by RBI expected to reverse the economic slowdown in 2020 The domestic economy may see a moderate improvement in GDP in the next fiscal, supported by Government measures. Muted manufacturing activity hit by slowdown in automobile sector led the slowdown in the GDP to hit 4.55% in Q2 2019-20, the lowest in last 26 quarters

IMF Report emphasises on fiscal consolidation rather than stimulus

The declining investment, stagnant exports and rising unemployment on the eve of budget presentation pose formidable challenges to the Finance Minister in formulating the budget. The reforms so far have yielded little and despite reducing the policy rate by 135 basis points, its transmission has been sluggish and impact is marginal.

Economy on the mend; further measures needed

Brickwork Ratings expects more measures to reverse the economic slowdown While slow-down is a global phenomenon, India has remained insulated from such events in the past due to its burgeoning consumer demand at the back of its demographic dividend. The Indian economy was expected to grow at a much faster pace encouraging the nation to set a goal of a $5 trillion Economy in next 5 years thereby targeting a CAGR of 15%.

Brickwork Ratings expects more such RBI's special OMOs may follow to brace yields

In a bid to contain the rising yields on the longer end of the yield curve, the Reserve Bank of India has strategically arranged this debt-to-money market swap wherein they suck out the government bonds of long duration (10 years) and pump in short duration (about 6 months) worth INR 100 billion through special Open Market Operations (OMO) to improve both liquidity and bond yields.

Acquisition of Ruchi Soya Industries credit neutral for Patanjali Ayurved Ltd

Patanjali Ayurved Group has announced acquisition of Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd (BWR unrated) by Patanjali Consortium Adhigrahan Pvt Ltd (PCAPL) (BWR unrated) a wholly owned subsidiary of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (PAL) (BWR AA-, Outlook Negative). This acquisition is funded by debt of INR 33 billion from a consortium of banks and with funds infusion of ~ INR 10 billion from the promoter PAL..

Avoiding Stagflation: Urgent Action is the Need of the Hour

The recent spike in CPI inflation numbers and decelerating growth scenario bring back the memories of low average growth of 4.1% during 2000-01 to 2002-03 and the more recent 4.3% during the July-September quarter of 2013. In both these episodes, low growth was combined with high inflation and as the growth falters to 4.5% and consumer price index moves up to 5.54% in July-September of this year, there are concerns of the economy heading towards a stagflationary situation.

Much needed measures to address liquidity troubles faced by NBFC/HFCs

The revision in eligibility norms for "Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme", announced in the Union Finance Budget 2019-20 by the Union Cabinet, is a big positive step for NBFC and HFCs. There has been limited traction in the earlier scheme announced in the budget, due to the high rating requirement making it unattractive. In addition, higher credit enhancement required in the previous scheme made it less feasible

Automobile sales decline for 12th month in a row

Domestic automobile sales fell by 12% y-o-y in the month of November 2019 largely driven by weak sales of commercial vehicles and two wheelers. Commercial vehicle sales were down by 15% and two & three wheelers sales were down by 14% y-o-y in November 2019. The weak commercial vehicle sales reflect the subdued state of industrial activity in the country and weak two wheeler sales indicate low rural demand. Commercial vehicles sales were also impacted by revised axle norms and financing issues due to NBFC crisis..

Fears of Economic Slowdown Intensified

The release of the second quarter GDP estimate has confirmed the fears of continuing slowing down of the Indian economy. The economic performance has slid further in the second quarter despite the policy initiatives taken by the government during the past few months and RBI's continued accommodative stance. The GDP grew at a much lower rate of 4.55% in the second quarter, the lowest in last 26 quarters, despite favourable base effect. With this, the first half of 2019-20 GDP stands at 4.8%, plunging to the levels seen in March 2013.

Brickwork Rating sees many positives in the Bharat Bond ETF

The announcement of first corporate ETF namely Bharat Bond Exchange traded Fund by Government of India (GoI) is a 'three in one' step. Firstly, it will help the healthy PSUs including banks in raising cheaper funds, secondly, it will give an opportunity to investors to invest in safer instruments with tax advantage and thirdly, it will help the hitherto lagging bond market to develop and deepen.

Slowing Economy Demands One More Dose of Rate Cut

The release of the second quarter GDP estimate has confirmed the fears of continuing slowing down of Indian economy. The first quarter GDP estimate for the fiscal at 5% was the slowest seen in the last 6 years. The economic performance has slid further in the second quarter despite the policy initiatives taken by the government during the past few months and RBI's continued accommodative stance. The GDP grew at a much lower rate of 4.55% in the second quarter, the lowest in last 26 quarters, despite favourable base effect.

Deferment of spectrum dues and possible tariff hikes a positive but AGR overhang remains

The Finance Minister in her press conference on Nov 20, 2019 announced that the cabinet has approved deferment of the spectrum dues for FY21 and FY22, although the interest as stipulated in the terms of assignment will be charged as it is. This announcement is expected to improve the cash flows for the telecom players but it will not have net benefit on their balance sheet as they have to pay the fees along with interest charges after two years.

Uptick in Inflationary expectations warrants cautious approach by MPC

CPI Inflation crosses MPC mid-point target of 4% in October 2019. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) increased by 4.62% year-on-year for October 2019, largely due to continued rise in vegetable prices. Core inflation actually slipped to 3.5%, its lowest level in the current series.

Deepening economic slowdown calls for further intervention by the government

IIP contracts to series low of -4.3% in September 2019. All three components of IIP reported contraction in output in September. 17 out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector reported negative growth

Financial aid to help resolve stressed developers but demand side issue still unaddressed: Brickwork Ratings

The Government of India's announcement of establishing an Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) worth INR 250 billion aimed at priority debt financing for the completion of stalled housing projects that are in the affordable and middle-income housing sector, will go a long way in providing the much- needed relief to the developers having funding requirements. It will also to provide relief to homebuyers having investments in these projects. However, on a broader level, this may not completely address the urgent need of the sector that is plagued by huge unsold inventories.

Looming uncertainty over economic revival

The deepening economic concern manifested itself with several economic indicators reporting weak or subdued performances in the recent months. In September 2019, aggregate auto production recorded a contraction for the eleventh month in a row (-18.3%), eight core sectors reported one of the worst performances ever with 5.2% fall in output and deployment of bank credit to industries in the current fiscal so far witnessed a fall of 3.8%..

MFIs weather the liquidity storm in the NBFC space in FY19; Assets under Management (AUM) grew by 47 per cent

Brickwork Ratings (BWR) expects micro-finance institutions (MFIs) AUM to grow by 40-45 per cent in FY20 with the availability of the credit, expectation of reduced interest rates and disciplined collection and recovery model. Also, the recent proposed increase by RBI in the household income limit for eligible borrowers and higher permissible indebtedness of borrowers, augurs well for the growth momentum.

Inflation remains within target, but deepening concerns of economic slowdown continues

CPI Inflation reaches near MPC mid-point target at 3.99% in September 2019. Spike in food inflation led the CPI inflation to increase by 55 basis points in a month. Fuel price inflation remained negative capping additional rise

Series of growth boosting measures fetch confidence in the economic revival

Renewed hopes of reversal in the economic slowdown. The gamut of measures announced by the government recently brought immense hope on the reforms front to the otherwise dismal economic scenario. Though, how these measures influence the economic revival in the long run is still debatable, given the current demand side constraints.

Brickwork Ratings expects more rate cuts in upcoming RBI Monetary Policies

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced the key policy repo rate by 25 bps to 5.15%; which is a fifth consecutive cut. The rate cut and stance both are in line with BWR expectations.

Sanguine economy can still do with a rate cut boost

BWR expects 25 basis points rate cut in the ensuing RBI MPC. The international economic scenario post Federal Reserve's rate cut and our government's efforts to push the growth momentum and subdued inflation are fertile arenas for a rate cut.

Revival in manufacturing activity reinvigorates economic prospects

IIP growth improved to 4.3% in July 2019. Revival in Manufacturing activity boosts IIP trends. Recovery in Manufacturing sector was due to improved production in basic metals and food products...

Government's stimulus to help economy to revive

Falling GDP growth suggests further moderation in economic activity. The recent Q1 2019-20 data on GDP shows deepening concerns on the growth front, but the host of measures announced recently is expected to help in combating slowdown with renewed prospects.

Mega Merger to revitalize the banks' operations and reduce cost

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday (August 30) unveiled a mega merger plan for public sector banks (PSBs), amalgamating 10 banks into 4.

Pessimistic GDP Estimates Underline Urgency of Reforms

The first quarter estimate of GDP for the current fiscal has been much below the market expectations. The market had expected at least 5.5 per cent GDP growth and the growth at 5 per cent comes as a shocking disappointment. The growth rate in the first quarter of 2018-19 was 8 per cent and the growth in the previous quarter was 5.8 per cent. The GVA figure at 4.9 per cent is sub 5 per cent and this has not been seen for more than five years. With this, it is time for all to rework the GDP estimate downwards for the year as the prospect is not likely to be very different in the next quarter as well.

RBI's transfer to help the Government in combating economic slowdown and conform to fiscal targets, says Brickwork Ratings

The acceptance of the report of the "Expert Committee Reviewing the Extant Economic Capital Framework" chaired by Dr. Bimal Jalan by the RBI Board brings in the much-needed relief to the government in adhering to its fiscal targets. Based on the Capital framework recommended by the Committee, the Board decided to transfer Rs 1,76,051 crore comprising of Rs 1,23,414 crore surplus and an additional Rs. 52,637 excess contingency provisions. With this, the RBI is set to transfer...

Lenders/Bankers should take cue from SEBI's guidelines on disclosure and provide timely information to CRAs says Brickwork Ratings

The market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in its board meeting held on Aug 21, approved a slew of amendments in a bid to rationalize the existing regulatory framework for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and boost efficient rating mechanism in India

Stagnant manufacturing activity needs further monetary stimulus

Lower fuel prices leads to marginal easing of CPI Inflation to 3.15% in July. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate softened marginally in July compared to June 2019 largely driven by fall in fuel prices. As per the August release of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), the CPI inflation rate eased by 3 basis points over the previous month to 3.15%(provisional estimates, measured by y-o-y change) in July 2019. Despite gradually rising for last 5 months, the inflation remained within the mid-point of MPC range enabling rate cuts to 110 basis points in 2019 so far.

Economy's slow start needs to accelerate

In the July 2019 edition of Global Economic Prospects, World Bank cited that India's growth remains solid, supported by improved confidence, slowing inflation and still robust investment. The report suggests the economy to grow a slower pace than in 2018, although investment growth is expected to remain robust as benefits of recent policy reforms further materialize. Further, the report also projects the growth to accelerate to 7.5% in FY 2019-20, on the back of support from monetary and fiscal policies.

BWR sees a southern trend in interest rates; Looks out for quicker transmission of rates

Brickwork Ratings, 07 August 2019, Mumbai: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced the key policy repo rate by 35 bps to 5.40%; which is a fourth consecutive cut in the policy rate and the lowest repo rate since April 2010. The MPC decided to keep the stance unchanged as accommodative, in line with BWR expectations.

BWR expects 25 basis points rate cut in August 2019 MPC

The Economic Survey 2018-19 and Union Budget 2019-20 indicated that the government aims to push the economy to USD 5 trillion by 2024-25. This would require the economy to grow at about 9% at the constant exchange rate. BWR feels that a rate cut would help to revive investment and provide consumption push to the economy and boost the critical factors contributing to the growth. Since the last June 2019 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, indicators show economic activity has been slowing characterized by muted performances with respect to the high frequency indicators in critical sectors such...

IIP growth trends and marginal increase in CPI Inflation provide headroom for MPC to consider Monetary easing

In the July release of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) witnessed increase for the fifth month in a row. CPI inflation rose to 3.18% (provisional estimates, measured by y-o-y change) compared to 3.05% reported in May 2019. Despite touching 3.18% in June, CPI inflation remained within the mid-point of the flexible inflation target of 4% mandated to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank India (RBI).

Budget Proposals: A Booster Shot for the Economy

India managed to maintain macroeconomic stability by containing inflation within 4% and current account deficit (CAD) to GDP ratio at 2.1% during 2018-19. However, due to slowdown in the domestic economy on account of lower farm output witnessed in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018-19, the full year GDP growth rate was revised downwards to 6.8% compared to 7.2% reported in the previous year. Along with agriculture, manufacturing sector also witnessed deceleration in growth as evident from weak IIP numbers....


Presenting the first financial budget of the current Government, the Union Budget 2019-20, the Finance Minister has clearly articulated a combination of measures for the long-term and immediate year with a clear vision for a $5 trillion economy by 2025.In formulating the fiscal policies, the FM strives to be innovative, responding to community aspirations promptly and effectively, and providing a head start to foster long-term development.

Balancing Fiscal Deficit Target and Growth ' Key Challenge for the Finance Minister

While a full Budget would be presented on July 5th 2019 expectedly on the lines of the interim budget presented in February 2019, the reformist contours of policy making and the conundrum of fiscal prudence would be weighed-in. The challenges faced by the domestic economy particularly slowing trade, rising protectionism...

CPI Inflation has crossed 3% in May 2019 after a gap of 7 months

As per the latest data released by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), Consumer Prices Index (CPI) Inflation witnessed sequential rise for the fourth month in May 2019 to 3.05% (provisional estimates, measured by y-o-y change) from 2.99% (revised from 2.92% reported earlier) in April 2019.

Expected Revival in GDP Growth with Political Stability and Monetary Stimulus

GDP growth slowed down to 5.8% in Q4 2018-19, thus dragging down the estimates of FY 2018-19 growth at 6.8%. However, the domestic economy expected to improve in 2019-20 on the back of monetary easing, benefiting from benign inflation coupled with relatively lower oil prices than expected. Political continuity ensured by the outcome of the general elections also helped to improved growth prospects in 2019-20...

RBI's revised directive provides much needed flexibility for lenders while ensuring credit discipline

The Reserve Bank of India today released revised norms for resolution of stressed assets in the wake of the judgment of the Hon�ble Supreme Court of India

BWR expects a rate cut in August Policy due to the recent slump in growth numbers and benign inflation

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced the key policy repo rate by 25 bps to 5.75%; which is a third consecutive cut in the policy rate and changed the stance to accommodative from neutral. The rate cut and stance both are in line with BWR expectations. All six members of the MPC, including the Governor of RBI, unanimously decided to reduce the policy repo rate and change the policy stance.

BWR expects Monetary Policy Committee to cut repo rate by 25 basis points

BWR expects the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut key policy reporate by 25 basis points in the ensuing policy review of June 6, 2019. The MPC has reduced repo rates - 25 basis points each - continuously in its earlier two MPC reviews.

Inflation and IIP report

CPI Inflation increased to 2.92% in April compared to 2.86% in March. The overall inflation rate is expected to be benign in the next 12-18 months and provides room for the rate cut, although the core inflation has been higher than 5% in recent months. There are also risks arising from the US sanctions on Iran impacting the oil prices. On industrial output, while the growth has decelerated, the capacity utilization is at the highest level. Therefore, increase in output growth will critically depend on new investments.

FX Swap to Help Manage Liquidity Efficiently and Mitigate Rise in Interest Rates; Real Impact to be known by 2022

Brickwork Ratings, Mumbai, 15 May 2019: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced a new liquidity management tool in the form of dollar-rupee swap in March 2019 to meet the durable liquidity needs of the system. This is an addition to its many liquidity management tools like Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) and Open Market Operations (OMOs).

CPI Inflation edges up to 2.86% in March 2019....

Inflation, measured by y-o-y change in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rose to 2.86% in March 2019, the second consecutive rise in 2019 after touching a 19-month low of 1.97% in January 2019. An upturn in food inflation coupled with marginal increase in inflation in the fuel group led 29 bps increase in the CPI inflation in March. With this, the average inflation for 2018-19 stood at 3.4% as compared to 3.6% during 2017-18.

Brickwork Ratings expects further rate cuts in FY20 in RBI Monetary Policy; Slow growth rate and benign inflation will be the basis of the expectation

Brickwork Ratings, 04 April 2019, Mumbai: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced the key policy repo rate by 25 bps to 6%; which is a second consecutive cut in policy rate. The rate cut and stance both are in line with BWR expectations.

BWR expects Monetary Policy Committee to cut rates by 25 bps

Brickwork Ratings, 04 April 2019, Bengaluru: Brickwork Ratings expects Reserve Bank of India (RBI) led Monetary Policy Committee may again reduce the key policy rate- repo rate by a quarter point (25bps) at first Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement of the financial year 2019-20 after one slice in February policy due to growth pressure and benign inflation state.

Funding Challenges to Continue for India's Shadow Banks in H1FY20

Liquidity Crunch fueled by muted demand from capital market and low appetite from banks.
Brickwork Ratings, Mumbai, 18 March 2019: Brickwork Ratings sees prolonged liabilities mismatch for India�s shadow banks � Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

Economy on the Revival Path: Need for a Calibrated View

The third quarter estimate of GDP for the year and the second advance estimate of National Income for 2017-18 released on February 28 shows that the economy, after the two major disruptions is in the recovery mode. There has been a steady acceleration in the growth of GDP from 5.7 per cent in the first quarter to 6.5 per cent in the second and further to 7.2 per cent in the third quarter.

Popular budget amidst attempt to fuel growth and infrastructure

Mumbai, 01 February 2018: Contrary to the expected populist budget, this year budget provides impetus to growth and is a good balancing act of driving growth agenda and keeping some popular measures for the masses. A strong emphasis has been given for uplift of Rural Sector, Healthcare, Education & Infrastructure to accelerate economic growth. The budget is credit positive for business environment especially for the MSME sector, one of the largest job generators in the country.