A credit rating agency (CRA, also called a rating service) is a company that assigns credit ratings, which rate a debtor’s ability to pay back debt by making timely principal and interest payments and the likelihood of default. In this article, we discuss about various credit rating agencies in India.
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Role of the Credit Rating Agency
The credit rating agencies rate the creditworthiness of issuers of debt obligations, of debt instruments, and in some cases, of the services of the underlying debt. The debt instruments rated by CRAs include government bonds, corporate bonds, CDs, municipal bonds, preferred stock, and collateralized securities, such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.
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A credit rating is an evaluation of the credit risk of a prospective debtor. Also, predicting their ability to pay back the debt, along with this, makes a forecast of the chances for the debtor defaulting. The credit rating represents an evaluation of a credit rating agency of the qualitative and quantitative information for the prospective debtor, including information provided by the prospective debtor and other non-public information obtained by the credit rating agency’s analysts. Credit risk is the risk of default on a debt that may arise from a borrower failing to make required payments.
The ratings given to securities are mostly represented as AAA, AAB, Ba3, CCC etc up to D. The highest rating AAA(Prime) is given to a borrower who has the highest probability of paying back.
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Credit reporting (or credit score) – is a subset of credit rating – it is a numeric evaluation of an individual’s creditworthiness, which is done by a credit bureau or consumer credit reporting agency.
In India, the functions of CRA are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI), under SEBI(CRA) Regulations,1999.
The three big credit rating agencies in the world are Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch Ratings.
The CRA collects information about financial flexibility, turnover values, analyzes the same to reach a conclusion. And, it is transformed into an easy and understandable manner to the public. Moreover, it makes investors confident by giving data about risk and returns in a particular business. Evaluates risks and finds measures to overcome these risks consequently gives implicit information regarding the same and enhances the corporate image.
Credit Rating Agencies in India
CRISIL, ICRA, CARE, Fitch Ratings India PVT LTD(India Ratings and research), ONICRA, SMERA, Brickwork Rating India PVT LTD, Equifax Credit Information Services PVT LTD(ECIS), Trans Union CIBIL, Hunter Fraud Score, Experian India.
|Rating Agency||Year of Establishment||Headquarters||Full-form|
|CRISIL||1987||Mumbai||Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited|
|ICRA||1991||Gurugram||Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India|
|CARE||1993||Mumbai||Credit Analysis and Research limited|
|ONICRA||1993||Gurugram||Onida Individual Credit Rating Agency of India|
|CIBIL||2000||Mumbai||Credit Information Bureau India Limited.|
|SMERA||2005||Mumbai||Small and Medium Enterprises Rating Agency of India|
|BWR||2007||Bangalore||Brickwork Rating India PVT LTD|
|ECIS||2010||Mumbai||Equifax Credit Information Services PVT LTD|
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CRISIL: India’s first and largest rating agency and started operations in 1988. Promoted by ICICI Ltd, UTI, and other financial institutions. CRISIL500 Equity Index in 1995, was developed in partnership with the National Stock Exchange. It has been grown to a global analytical company that gives ratings to companies, researches the markets and provides risk and policy advisory services to its clients. The world’s biggest credit rating agency i.e. Standard & Poor’s has a majority stake in CRISIL.
ICRA: It was formerly known as the Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited. It is second rating agency in India, a Joint venture of Moody’s and leading financial/investment institutions, commercial banks and financial services companies. It has a role in Corporate debt rating, Financial sector rating, Issuer rating, Bank loan credit rating, Public finance rating, Corporate governance rating, Structured finance rating, SME rating, Mutual fund rating, Infrastructure sector rating, Project finance rating, and Insurance sector rating.
CARE: India’s second-largest rating agency. It offers two different categories of bank loan ratings, long-term and short-term debt instruments. CARE also offers ratings for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), real estate, renewable energy service companies (RESCO), financial assessment of shipyards, Energy service companies (ESCO) grades various courses of educational institutions. It rates SMEs based on their financial health.
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ONICRA: Private rating agency, set up by Onida Finance. Provides Employee Background Assessment & Individual Decision Analytics to enterprise customers. It investigates data and arranges for possible rating solutions for Small and Medium Enterprises and Individuals. Agency finds solutions and helps organizations take informed decisions about lending funds to individuals, MSMEs and other organizations.
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CIBIL: Aims to create information solutions enabling businesses to grow and give consumers faster, cheaper access to credit and other services.
SMERA: Exclusively for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in India. However, it has grown over the years to provide ratings to SMEs as well as to mid and large corporate in India. It is a joint initiative of SIDBI, Dun & Bradstreet India and leading banks in India.
Fitch India: India Ratings and Research(Ind-Ra) covers corporate issuers, financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, urban local bodies, structured finance, and project finance. It is recognized by SEBI, NHB, RBI. It completely owned under Fitch Group.
ECIS: Subsidiary of Equifax US. It is a joint venture of Equifax US and UBI, SBI, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra, Sundaram Finance and Religare. Also provides Basic or Enhanced consumer information report, Equifax alerts, and Microfinance institution credit information.
Experian Indian: First to receive the license to the new Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act (CICRA) 2005.
BWR: Promoted by Canara Bank. It offers ratings of bank loans, SMEs, corporate governance rating, municipal corporation, a capital market instrument, and financial institutions. Also grades NGOs, tourism, real estate investments, hospitals, IREDA, educational institutions, MFI.
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