Fitch Ratings Bumps Up IREDA Credit Ratings

Global ratings agency, Fitch Ratings has upgraded Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited ‘s (IREDA) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and long-term senior unsecured rating to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BB+’. The Outlook is Negative. At the same time, Fitch has upgraded the Short-Term IDR and the short-term senior unsecured rating to ‘F3’ from ‘B’.

IREDA is one of the few focused NBFC’s under the MNRE for the renewable sector, and in the past three years been a leading contributor to funding . Pradip Kumar Das, CMD at IREDA , while speaking at the REINVEST event, had stressed how IREDA  is critical to the development of the sector, by providing financing when none else was, as in the 1990’s.Calling it the ‘mother’ organisation for RE development in the country. He stressed on how IREDA today offers the lowest rates for RE projects, below those of PFC and REC.

The rating is driven by the government ownership and what the agency sees as high priority for backing IREDA. There was an IPO planned to reduce government stake, which has been deferred for now

The government guaranteed 41% of IREDA’s debt at end-March 2020 (44% at end-March 2019).

IREDA has applied for a capital injection of INR15 billion from the MNRE, following the postposed IPO. While the infusion awaits  budgetary approval, Fitch expects it to be approved . In addition, the government has also waived the requirement that the company pay it dividends for FY20.

IREDA’s policy role in helping the government’s ambitious target for 40% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 is also considered important.

The ratings upgrade certainly does no harm to the NBFC to raise funds at a lower rate for onward lending to renewable energy firms.

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