Moody's upgrades baseline credit assessments of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 18-06-2022 12:24 IST | Created: 18-06-2022 12:13 IST
Moody's upgrades baseline credit assessments of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the baseline credit assessments of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, reflecting improvements in credit fundamentals, particularly asset quality.

The global rating agency has upgraded the baseline credit assessments (BCAs) to baa3 from ba1.

The upgrade of the BCAs does not result in any change in the deposit ratings because these are already at the same level as the India sovereign rating (Baa3 stable), Moody's said in a statement on Friday.

''The upgrade of the two banks' BCAs is driven by improvements in asset quality, capital, and profitability. Their asset quality has seen a significant improvement, with both the gross and net non-performing loans (NPL) ratios declining.

''Credit costs have also reduced at the same time as providing coverage has increased. Lower credit costs have resulted in higher profitability,'' it said.

ICICI Bank and Axis Bank's return on assets for the year ending March 2022 was 1.8 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, compared to an average of 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent over the four years ending March 2020, it said.

ICICI Bank's profitability has also benefited from rising net interest margins as the share of the low-margin international business has come down in the last four years, it added.

Both lenders have raised equity capital, resulting in significantly higher capital ratios, it said, adding the core equity tier 1 ratio of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank at the end-March 2022 was 17.6 percent and 15.2 percent respectively, compared to 13.6 percent and 11.3 percent at end March 2019.

However, it said, Axis Bank's proposed acquisition of Citigroup Inc's India consumer assets will result in an approximately 230 bps decline in the capital at the bank.

As Axis Bank has good access to capital markets, the rating agency expects the bank to raise capital to maintain its current capital ratios.

Axis Bank is targeting to close the acquisition by March 2023.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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