CRISIL downgrades PNB Housing Finance's deposits rating to 'AA+' from 'AAA'

Topics PNB Housing Finance | Crisil | GNPAs

PNB Housing Finance
Rating agency CRISIL downgraded ratings for PNB Housing Finance Ltd’s (PNB Housing) fixed deposits from “AAA” to “AA+” over weakening of asset quality after many big-ticket developers defaulted on payments. Also, the size of equity raising planned is lower than earlier envisaged.

The rating agency in a statement said the long-term rating was downgraded from “AA+” to “AA”. It also revised the outlook on the long-term ratings to 'Stable' from 'Negative'.

Earlier in July 2019, CRISIL had revised the rating outlook to 'negative' due to concerns over leverage metrics, moderation in capital adequacy ratios and increased vulnerability of asset quality in the wholesale loan portfolio.

In terms of asset quality, the company's gross non-performing asset (GNPA) ratio deteriorated to 1.75% as on December 31, 2019, compared to 0.48% as on March 31, 2019. The retail on-balance sheet loan book has witnessed a marginal uptick in delinquencies in early buckets but remains in control. The increase in overall GNPA was mainly on account of slippages from some large developer accounts.

PNB Housing's fund-raising ability has remained intact over the last 6-9 months and it continues to maintain high on-balance liquidity.

Further, CRISIL notes that the management now intends to recalibrate its growth strategy keeping in mind the capital availability.  The company will also increase the share of retail book due to challenges in the wholesale book. This will ensure that, post equity raise, the leverage metrics and capital adequacy levels remain under control.

To further reduce leverage, the company had earlier planned to raise around Rs 2,000 crore of equity by March 2020. However, the equity raise is now expected to be lower at Rs 1,500 to 1,600 crore, CRISIL said.

PNB Housing last raised equity capital of around Rs 3,000 crore in fiscal 2017 during the initial public offering (IPO), after which the on-book gearing improved to 6.4 times as on March 31, 2017 from 12.4 times as on March 31, 2016 (CRISIL-adjusted gearing including off book improved to 6.9 times as on March 31, 2017 from 12.4 times as on March 31, 2016).

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