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Indian firms’ weak financials affecting banks’ asset quality: Moody’s

The asset quality of state-owned banks will continue to be burdened by weak financial health of Indian corporates, credit rating agency Moody’s said on Thursday.

It said that although the asset quality of public sector banks may have hit a bottom, the recovery in corporate credit quality will take some time.

Non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks will continue to act as a drag on the bank’s credit quality, Moody’s said.

“We expect net new non-performing loan (NPL) formation rates for public-sector banks to be lower than those observed over the last three years, while the impaired loan ratio may stabilise at current levels,” Moody’s vice president and senior analyst Srikanth Vadlamani said.

The agency said that over the next two years new NPL formation rates would witness a gradual decline

It said the health of corporates in India, while having stabilised, continues to be fragile on an absolute basis with high debt levels and weak debt-servicing metrics.

“This is particularly relevant for public sector banks, which have a higher share of corporate loans in their loan books than private sector banks,” it added.

Moody’s expects that Indian corporates will increase their deleveraging efforts as conducive market conditions make it easier to raise equity and sell assets.

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