Moody's downgrades Yes Bank's ratings, assigns negative outlook

Topics Moody Rating | YES Bank

Yes Bank's ratings also take into account Moody's expectation of a moderate level of support from the Government of India.
Global rating agency Moody's on Thursday downgraded Yes Bank’s long-term foreign currency rating from “Ba3” to “B2” as potentially stressed assets and low loss-absorbing buffers may add pressure to its funding and liquidity. This may create additional risks to its standalone credit profile.

Moody's expects Yes Bank's common equity tier-1 (CET1) ratio of 8.7 per cent at the end of September 2019 to come under significant pressure, unless the bank can raise new capital in the next few quarters.

Yes Bank has received offers from a number of financial investors to invest up to $2 billion through new equity capital into the bank. There are significant execution risks around the timing, price and regulatory approvals required. The board of the private bank is meeting on December 10 to finalise the capital infusion programme.

Last week, Yes Bank increased the size of its equity capital offer to $2 billion from the earlier guidance of $1.2 billion on “strong interest” shown by NRI investors, including a $1.2 billion offer by Erwin Singh Braich and SPGP Holdings, and $500 million by Citax Holdings and Citax Investment Group.

Other prominent suitors are the Aditya Birla Family Office ($25 million), GMR Group and Associates ($50 million), and Rekha Jhunjhunwala ($25 million). Besides, a top-tier US fund house has evinced interest in investing $120 million. Its name will be disclosed early next week. Discovery Capital will take $50 million and Ward Ferry will take $30 million.

Moody's said the Indian private sector lender’s funding and liquidity compares weakly to other rated private sector peers in India, and could come under pressure if the bank is unable to strengthen its solvency in the next few quarters.

Yes Bank's ratings also take into account Moody's expectation of a moderate level of support from the Government of India (Baa2 negative) in times of need, which results in a one-notch uplift to the bank's ratings from its BCA.

Moody's said it expects that the Indian authorities will strive to maintain systemic stability and help prevent any weakness in the bank's standalone credit profile from significantly affecting depositors and creditors.

The support assumption also takes into account the bank's modest, but increased franchise and relative importance to India's banking system.

Banking regulator Reserve Bank of India identified several lapses and regulatory breaches in various areas of the bank's functioning in fiscal 2018. Moody’s assessment factors in the divergence in reported asset quality and profitability based on RBI's inspection.

The divergence includes higher non-performing loans and lower profitability as compared to the metrics disclosed by Yes Bank in fiscal 2019. This is the third year when RBI has identified a divergence in the bank's reported financials.

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