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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Standard & Poor's says no rating upgrade for India

PTI  Greater Noida, May 04, 2013
First Published: 18:47 IST(4/5/2013) | Last Updated: 09:26 IST(5/5/2013)

Global agency Standard & Poor's on Saturday ruled out rating upgrade for India at the current juncture but said improvement in outlook was something which could be considered.

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"...a rating upgrade at this point is not on the cards," said Elena Okorochenko, S&P managing director (Sovereign and international public finance ratings – Asia Pacific) at an ADB seminar in Greater Noida.

However, she indicated that the improvement in rating outlook was something which could be considered by the rating agency.

"If you think the rating is on negative outlook, it is highly improbable that an upgrade follows from a negative outlook. Usually, the outcomes from a negative outlook is downgrade or stable outlook", she explained.

S&P currently rates India as 'BBB-', lowest in the investment grade, with a negative outlook. It had also not ruled out downgrading India's rating to junk status if it did not improve its financial position.

India, however, has been pitching for a rating upgrade on the back of bold and tough decisions which the government announced in the budget for 2013-14 to contain fiscal deficit and promote growth.

The representatives of S&P had recently met finance ministry officials including economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram to review public finances.

Mayaram had earlier said "there is a case for an upgrade because we have taken the kind of decisions that most of the countries in the world have not been able to take. This country has shown its determination to put the economy back on track. We believe it will happen and there is no doubt about it."

Finance ministry officials held similar meeting with another rating agency Fitch.

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