Infrastructure firms to see robust growth, says Crisil

Infrastructure-related industries like power equipment, steel, cement, construction, healthcare, education and financial services will see high demand growth in the medium-term, Crisil said in its Ratings Round-up report released here.On the other hand, export-dependent industries like gems and jewellery, textiles and IT, will register only moderate growth as they are linked to the revival of the global economy.

The report further said during the current fiscal more companies are expected to witness upgrades than downgrades. “We believe that the worst is over for the domestic economy, and present trends indicate that upgrades will outnumber downgrades in 2010-11,” said Crisil Ratings Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer Roopa Kudva. She said, however, “the degree to which the credit cycle turns will depend on the sustainability of demand growth, and the impact of fresh capital expenditure on the balance sheets of these players.”

Referring to the performance of companies in the last fiscal, Crisil said it has already upgraded more domestic companies than it downgraded during the second half of the past fiscal, reversing a three-year trend. Besides, it added that the number of defaults by companies also declined during the second half of the past fiscal to 20 from 29.

Fragility in credit quality
The ratings agency, however, cautioned that there is still some fragility in credit quality. “The undertone of fragility in credit quality remains, and is reflected in the fact that 426 companies (representing 13.1 per cent of Crisil’s long-term ratings) still carry a ‘negative’ outlook, against 105 companies (3.2 per cent) with a ‘positive’ outlook,” the report said. The report said real estate and related companies account for 18 per cent of the ‘negative’ outlook companies, and those in the textiles arena accounted for 12 per cent. “Both these industries are still highly leveraged and will require strong demand revival or large equity infusions for their credit profiles to stabilise. Textile players will also need to contend with exchange rate volatility,” it added.

On the other hand, construction players account for 20 per cent of the ‘positive’ outlook and are witnessing robust demand because of government’s increased spending in the infrastructure sector.

Crisil, which has about 3,700 Indian entities on its long-term monitoring list, said during the October-March period of the past fiscal, there were 108 rating upgrades as against 95 downgrades. For the entire fiscal, Crisil said there were 210 downgrades as against 123 upgrades, compared to 84 and 2 respectively during 2008-09.

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