Thursday, April 15

ICRA looking into IL&FS rating issue, hires external experts for assistance

ICRA is working on addressing issues pertaining to credit rating of crisis-hit IL&FS and its subsidiaries and has sought help from external experts in the matter.

“The company is in the process of addressing certain matters related to credit rating assigned to one of its customer and its subsidiaries, and an anonymous representation,” ICRA said in a regulatory filing on quarterly earnings announced Thursday.

In an investor communication in December, ICRA had informed about receiving a notice from market regulator Sebi for conduct of adjudication proceedings in relation credit ratings assigned to Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and one of its subsidiaries — IL&FS Financial Services.

“These proceedings are under…Sebi Act, 1992, which deals with potential imposition of monetary penalty,” it said in the investor communication presented on December 19, 2018.

The crisis-ridden infrastructure conglomerate, once a pioneer of public-private partnership, came under the scanner of multiple regulators besides Sebi post defaults in debt obligations as well as matters related to financial disclosures and corporate governance.

Role of some rating agencies, including ICRA, is also being looked into for possible lapses on their part as mutual funds have had a huge exposure to various debt securities of the group.

IL&FS, which is credited for building some major infrastructure projects in the country is sitting on a over a debt pile of Rs 91,000 crore, out of which Rs 57,000 crore are bank loans most of which are from state-run banks,

The board of directors has appointed external experts to assist with/look into the aforesaid and related matters, which are currently on going.

“Based on the work done till date, the company has made provision on a prudent basis with regards to the adjudication proceedings, while, apropos the representation, no findings have yet been identified,” it said.

The company will consider the implications, if any, in due course, upon completion of these matters, it added.

A company spokesperson declined to comment any further on the matter including the time-frame to complete the findings.

The ratings firm had reported decline of over 5 per cent in its net profit at Rs 26 crore in fourth quarter ended March 2019. Income during the period also fell to Rs 95.19 crore from Rs 99.65 crore in year ago same period.

Profit during the full year 2018-19 also fell by 3.9 per cent to Rs 96 crore, however the income was up by 0.7 per cent at Rs 274.70 crore.

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