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Govt talks to rating agencies for upgrading India

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The government has started talks with leading including and Standard and Poor's for upgrading India's creditworthiness, Parliament was informed today.

"Moody's Investor Services, Standard and Poor's, Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS), Ratings, Japanese Credit Rating Agency (JCRA) and Rating and Investment Information (R&I) are six Sovereign Credit Rating Agencies (SCRAs) that rate India's sovereign debt," Minister of State for Finance said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The government has begun a structured interaction process with these SCRAs, he said, adding that during the interactions it presents its perspective to the agencies on the strengths of the Indian economy and recent initiatives taken by it.

The government encourages SCRAs to consider the long-term credit strengths of the Indian economy in a holistic manner, and in view of such strengths, consider upgrading the ratings of India's sovereign debt, Meena said.

The Department of Economic Affairs has begun interactions with these agencies on a more regular basis giving clarifications where necessary, he added.

Meena said these interactions have yielded positive results. In June, for the first time since DBRS started rating India's sovereign debt, it upgraded the trend of India's Long Term foreign and local currency debt ratings from BBB (low) Negative to stable outlook, he added.

Replying to another question, Meena said, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has received a number of complaints against Dhanalakshmi Bank during FY11.

RBI has conducted an Annual Financial Inspection (AFI) of the bank as on March 31, 2011. RBI has forwarded the report of AFI 2011 to the bank advising to place it before their board and submit compliance on the findings of the AFI, he said.

A senior RBI official has been appointed as an Observer on the Board of the bank, Meena added.

In another reply, he said that as per the information published by the RBI in the Financial Stability Report June 2011, incremental credit growth during the last few years was mainly propelled by credit growth in few sectors -- retail, commercial real estate and infrastructure. Credit growth to specific sectors may pose concerns.

Profitability of the banking sector witnessed an improvement in FY11 over the previous year. The return on assets improved to 1.10% in FY11 from 1.05% in the previous year, he said.

Replying to another question, Meena said, RBI has informed that the estimated loss of Rs 33,000 crore in foreign exchange derivate transaction may not be the actual losses bit the gross market-to-market gains or losses to the customers.

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