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No immediate threat of rating downgrade: Fitch

PTI  New Delhi, August 22, 2013
First Published: 21:31 IST(22/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:36 IST(22/8/2013)
Fitch on Thursday said there is no immediate trigger for India's rating downgrade, but warned that unchecked fiscal deficit and high inflation could lead to a negative rating action. "These pressures have exceeded those of other emerging Asian economies, but Fitch Ratings does not view these developments as a trigger for rating action at this point," the agency said in a note.
It, however said, rapid private-sector credit growth, widening fiscal deficits or higher inflation could lead to a broader and more sustained loss of confidence among investors.
"This could potentially undermine economic and financial stability, and ultimately lead to negative rating action," it added.
The agency further said it will maintain a 'Stable Outlook' on India's sovereign rating at 'BBB-', mainly because of the country's sizable forex reserves, fiscal deficit management and structural reforms.
It further said market anticipation of US Fed tapering of bond purchase appears to have prompted some shift in investor perceptions of the risks.
"Moreover, the current market volatility could persist for a while in view of continuing uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of an eventual unwinding of global central banks' quantitative easing," it added.
Referring to rupee depreciation, Fitch said the sharp weakening of the currency "reflects large or growing current account deficit" whose funding has been complicated by a reversal of global portfolio capital.
The rupee today plunged further by 89 paise to hit a new record low of 65.12 against the US dollar in early trade.
The Fitch note further said India's foreign-exchange reserves have come under pressure, but are still sizable.
Noting that the country has adjusted its economic policies, Fitch said, "In India, we expect fiscal policy restraint to persist, in line with last year's result, with the budget deficit remaining within 5 % of GDP".

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