Moody’s says ICICI has no sub-prime risk

Moody’s says ICICI has no sub-prime risk

New Delhi: Battered by rumours casting doubts about its financial health, ICICI Bank today received a shot in the arm with global rating agencies Moody’s and S&P giving it a thumbs up saying its overseas arms have no significant sub-prime risks.

“ICICI Bank’s UK subsidiary has no high risk sub-prime securities and enjoys robust asset quality and liquidity," Moody’s said in its latest credit report.

Separately, another leading rating agency Moody’s said the Indian lender’s credit fundamentals remain sound and any mark-to-market loss would not have any significant impact on its credit profile.

These ratings assume importance in the wake of reports that it was over-exposed to risk caused by the global meltdown and that the bank’s loan profile was not fully secured and credible.

Interestingly, Morgan Stanley in one of its recent reports had said that among Asian banks, ICICI Bank has the largest exposure to weak global markets.

Moody’s reaffirmed its rating on ICICI Bank UK Plc with a “stable outlook" in its latest credit opinion, which was released after a sharp plunge of about 20 per cent in ICICI Bank’s share price on Indian bourses.

Moody’s also said that ICICI continues to have highest rating for senior debt among Indian banks and it has “no high risk sub-prime securities in ICICI Bank UK investment book."

At the same time, S&P’s senior director, financial institutions ratings, Asia, Ritesh Maheshwari, said that “credit fundamentals of ICICI Bank continue to remain sound despite the reports on its exposure to Lehman Brothers or the Bakerie group."