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Bajaj Finance corrects after S&P downgrades rating

In a BSE filing made on Saturday (27 June 2020), the NBFC said that the credit ratings agency has downgraded the the company's long term rating to 'BB+/Stable' from 'BBB-/Negative' and the short-term rating to 'B' from 'A-3'.

The ratings factor in a potential weakening in asset quality and an increase in credit costs. In a base case, S&P believes the company's asset quality and credit costs will deteriorate over the next 12 months. "We do not factor any extraordinary support from the Bajaj group into our rating on Bajaj Finance because the group entities are regulated or listed entities. They are therefore restricted in their ability to support Bajaj Finance in the case of an extraordinary event," S&P said.

"We believe stress in the wider Bajaj group could spill over to Bajaj Finance. This is due to the benefits to the company's market position and funding access from the common brand name. Although this is not our base case, we would lower the rating on Bajaj Finance if the group credit profile weakens substantially. This may happen if the credit profile of either Bajaj Finance's sister company Bajaj Auto or ultimate parent, Bajaj Holdings and Investments deteriorates significantly," it added.

The stable outlook on Bajaj Finance reflects the view that the company will maintain its strong market position and healthy capital levels over the next 12-18 months. S&P believes the company's liquidity and funding profile will remain adequate over the period.

Bajaj Finance is engaged in lending and allied activities. It focuses on consumer lending, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) lending, commercial lending, rural lending, fixed deposits and value-added services.

The non-banking financial company's (NBFC's) consolidated net profit declined 19% to Rs 948 crore on 36% increase in total income to Rs 7,231 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019.