Re weakness affects India credit profile, says Moody's

Re weakness affects India credit profile, says Moody's

The rupee's weakness reflects domestic economic challenges, primarily a high current account deficit and lower capital flows, but does not significantly impact India's foreign debt repayment capacity, Moody's said on Friday.

"Given the very low level of foreign currency debt owed by the Indian government, rupee depreciation does not significantly affect sovereign debt repayment capacity," said Atsi Sheth, vice-president of the sovereign risk group at Moody's Investors Service, in an e-mailed response.

"However, it is a reflection of macro-economic challenges, which do affect the country's credit profile."

Sheth said Moody's current rating of "Baa3" for India — the lowest investment-grade level — incorporates macro-economic imbalances and recent trends in the current account, capital flows, and the exchange rate.

The rupee had slumped to a record low of 59.9850 rupee to the dollar on Thursday, as the country's record high current account deficit is exacerbating its vulnerability in an emerging market rout.