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Rating Action:

Moody's takes rating action on eleven Indian non-financial companies following sovereign downgrade

02 Jun 2020

Singapore, June 02, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the long-term issuer ratings of the following eight non-financial companies:

1. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC)

2. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL)

3. Oil India Limited (OIL)

4. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL)

5. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)

6. Petronet LNG Limited (PLL)

7. Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS)

8. Infosys Limited (Infosys)

The outlooks on all these ratings is negative.

In addition, Moody's has affirmed the long-term issuer ratings of the following three non-financial companies:

9. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)

10. UPL Corporation Limited (UPL Corp)

11. Genpact Limited (Genpact)

The outlook for RIL has been revised to negative from stable while the outlooks for UPL Corp and Genpact remain stable.

Today's rating actions follow the downgrade of India's sovereign rating to Baa3 negative from Baa2 on 1 June 2020.

Please click on this link https://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_ARFTL424924 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and identifies each affected issuer.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Please click on this link https://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_ARFTL424924 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and provides, for each of the credit ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the following items:

Principal Methodologies

DOWNGRADE OF RATINGS FOR GOVERNMENT-RELATED ISSUERS -- ONGC, OIL, IOCL and BPCL

Under Moody's joint default analysis approach for government-related issuers (GRIs), government support is one of the key considerations in GRIs' ratings. The ratings of these four GRIs are very sensitive to a decline in the rating of their government owner given their close links with the Government of India. As a result, each GRI has been downgraded by one notch, consistent with the downgrade of the sovereign rating.

The BCA of ONGC has also been downgraded by one- notch to baa3 for the same reason.

The BCA for OIL has been affirmed at baa3 while that of IOCL and BPCL has been affirmed and confirmed, respectively at ba1.

The negative outlooks for the four GRIs reflect the negative outlook on the sovereign rating.

The latest rating action on BPCL concludes the rating review initiated on 26 November 2019 and reflects Moody's expectation that the Indian government's proposed stake sale in the company is unlikely to conclude over the next 3-6 months.

BPCL's rating will continue to incorporate Moody's assessment of a high likelihood of extraordinary support from the Government of India until the proposed divestment is completed.

In addition to the negative outlook on the sovereign, the negative outlook on BPCL's rating also reflects Moody's view that both its BCA as well as the support incorporated into the rating could face downward pressure, should the government sell its entire stake in the company.

DOWNGRADE OF RATINGS FOR GOVERNMENT-LINKED ISSUERS -- HPCL and PLL

HPCL's rating incorporates Moody's expectation of support from the Government of India through ONGC, and has accordingly also been downgraded following the rating action on the sovereign and ONGC.

The downgrade of PLL with a negative outlook follows the rating actions on its key counterparties, including IOCL and BPCL.

RATING ACTIONS FOR NON-GOVERNMENT RELATED ISSUERS -- TCS, INFOSYS, RIL, UPL AND GENPACT

The ratings of TCS and Infosys are constrained to no more than two notches above the sovereign rating. The sovereign downgrade to Baa3 negative therefore results in the rating downgrades of TCS and Infosys to Baa1 negative from A3 negative.

The affirmation of RIL's Baa2 issuer rating reflects Moody's view that its credit metrics remain appropriately positioned for its rating.

The change in RIL's outlook to negative from stable is in line with the downgrade of the Indian sovereign rating with a negative outlook and reiterates Moody's view that it cannot be rated more than one notch above the Indian sovereign.

The affirmation of the Baa3 issuer ratings with a stable outlook for UPL and Genpact reflects Moody's view that these entities can be rated one notch above the Indian sovereign.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

ONGC

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. The outlook on the rating could return to stable if the outlook on the Indian sovereign rating returns to stable.

The rating and BCA will be downgraded if Moody's downgrades India's sovereign rating.

While ONGC's BCA is currently constrained by the sovereign rating, Moody's could downgrade ONGC's BCA if oil prices remain weak for a prolonged period and the company continues to pursue high shareholder returns. Downward pressure on ONGC's BCA will also arise if the company embarks on large debt-funded acquisitions.

Credit metrics indicative of a downgrade include ONGC's RCF/net debt falling below 15%-20% and EBIT/interest staying below 4x-5x.

A BCA downgrade will not automatically result in a rating downgrade. ONGC's rating can be maintained at the current level (assuming no change in the sovereign rating) as long as its BCA does not fall below ba3.

OIL

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. The outlook will return to stable if the outlook on the sovereign rating returns to stable.

OIL's BCA will not be upgraded unless the sovereign rating is upgraded and if there is a sustained improvement in oil prices.

OIL's rating and BCA will be downgraded if the sovereign rating is downgraded.

OIL's issuer rating could also be downgraded to Ba1 if there is a change in the relationship between OIL and the Indian government, resulting in a lower expectation of extraordinary support.

The BCA could be downgraded to ba1 if (1) OIL makes any debt-funded acquisitions or shareholder returns, or (2) its earnings and cash flow generation remain weak because of a prolonged decline in oil prices.

Credit metrics indicative of such downward pressure include (1) adjusted RCF/debt staying below 20%-25%, or (2) debt/proved developed reserves increasing above $6 per barrel.

A BCA downgrade will not automatically result in a rating downgrade. OIL's rating can be maintained at the current level (assuming no change in the sovereign rating) as long as its BCA does not fall below ba3.

IOCL

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. The outlook will return to stable if the outlook on the sovereign rating returns to stable.

Upward pressure on IOCL's BCA is limited over the next 12-18 months given the weak refining margin environment and the company's weak cash flow coverage metrics. However, the BCA can be upgraded to baa3 over the longer term if (1) there is a sustained improvement in the regional refining margin environment, (2) there is clarity around the government's policy with respect to the oil & gas sector, and (3) IOCL's credit metrics improve because of a reduction in borrowings through free cash flow generation.

Credit metrics indicative of an improvement in IOCL's BCA include retained cash flow (RCF)/debt — excluding inventory gains/losses — above 20%, and debt/EBITDA below 2.5x on a sustained basis.

An upgrade of IOCL's BCA to baa3 will not automatically result in an upgrade of IOCL's issuer rating.

Moody's could downgrade IOCL's issuer rating if (1) India's sovereign rating is downgraded to Ba1 from Baa3; (2) the government makes adverse changes to the subsidy framework; (3) IOCL's BCA is downgraded to below ba3; or (4) the government's stake in IOCL is reduced to below 51% or government control is reduced by some other means, which would require a reassessment of the level of support incorporated into the company's ratings.

Moody's would downgrade IOCL's BCA to ba2 if the company's credits metrics deteriorate as a result of (1) a higher-than-expected increase in the fuel subsidy burden; (2) a large debt-funded expansion, acquisition or dividend payment; or (3) a sustained decline in refining margins or the efficiency of its operations.

Credit metrics indicative of a deterioration in its BCA include RCF/adjusted debt — excluding inventory gains/losses — below 10%-15%, and debt/EBITDA above 3x.

A BCA downgrade will not automatically result in a rating downgrade. IOCL's rating can be maintained at the current level (assuming no change in the sovereign rating) as long as its BCA does not fall below ba3.

BPCL

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. However, the outlook could return to stable if (1) the outlook on India's sovereign rating returns to stable; and (2) the uncertainty around ownership and management control along with the potential liquidity challenge is addressed.

Upward pressure on BPCL's BCA is limited over the next 12-18 months given the weak refining margin environment and the company's weak cash flow coverage metrics. Upward pressure on the BCA may emerge over a longer term if there is an improvement in BPCL's credit metrics because of a reduction in borrowings through free cash flow generation. An upgrade of the BCA will also require that the uncertainty around company's ownership and management control, along with the potential liquidity challenge, being addressed.

Credit metrics indicative of a higher BCA include retained cash flow (RCF)/debt — excluding inventory gains/losses — above 20% and debt/EBITDA below 2.5x on a sustained basis.

BPCL's issuer rating could be downgraded if (1) India's sovereign rating is downgraded; (2) the government makes adverse changes to the subsidy framework; (3) BPCL's BCA is downgraded to below ba3; or (4) the government's stake in BPCL declines to below 51% or government control is reduced by some other means, which would require a reassessment of the level of support incorporated into the company's ratings.

Moody's would downgrade BPCL's BCA to ba2 if the company's cash flow coverage credit metrics deteriorate. This may occur if BPCL maintains or increases its already high level of dividend payouts. Its credit metrics may also weaken as a result of (1) a higher-than-expected increase in the fuel subsidy burden, (2) a large debt-funded expansion or acquisition, or (3) a sustained weakness in refining margins or in the efficiency of its operations.

Credit metrics indicative of a lower BCA include RCF/adjusted debt — excluding inventory gains/losses — below 15% and debt/EBITDA above 3x.

A BCA downgrade will not automatically result in a rating downgrade. BPCL's rating can be maintained at the current level (assuming no change in the support assumptions or the sovereign rating) as long as its BCA does not fall below ba3.

BPCL's rating and BCA will also face downward pressure if the government moves ahead with the plan to sell its entire stake in the company, which would result in removal of the support incorporated in the company's rating.

HPCL

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. The outlook on the rating could return to stable if the outlook on ONGC and the Indian sovereign rating returns to stable.

HPCL's issuer rating could be downgraded if (1) the government or ONGC's rating is downgraded; (2) the government makes changes to the subsidy framework that are negative for HPCL; (3) the company's standalone credit quality deteriorates by more than two notches; or (4) ONGC's ownership of HPCL declines below 51% or government control is reduced by some other means, which would require a reassessment of Moody's expectation of the extraordinary support that is currently incorporated into HPCL's rating.

HPCL's standalone credit quality will weaken if its credit metrics deteriorate as a result of (1) a substantial loss of market share in petroleum product distribution; (2) low marketing margins due to higher competition from non-government players; (3) a decline in its refining margins or capacity utilization levels; and (4) a large debt-funded capital spending plan.

Credit metrics indicative of a weaker standalone credit quality include RCF/adjusted debt below 15% and adjusted debt/EBITDA above 3.5x on a fully consolidated basis.

PLL

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. However, the outlook could return to stable if the outlooks on the ratings of its key offtakers return to stable, which could in turn be the result of the outlook on India's sovereign rating returning to stable.

PLL's rating could be downgraded if Moody's downgrades the ratings of the company's key counterparties as a result of a downgrade of the sovereign rating.

The rating could also be downgraded if the company makes any large debt-funded acquisition or increases its capital spending significantly, resulting in a deterioration in its credit metrics such that debt/EBITDA increases above 3x or EBITDA/interest coverage falls below 4x.

TCS

Given the guidelines regarding the differences between government and corporate ratings (see our Credit Policy paper titled Assessing the Impact of Sovereign Credit Quality on Other Ratings, published 20 June 2019), TCS' rating will not be upgraded unless India's Baa3 sovereign rating is upgraded, which is unlikely given the negative outlook.

A downgrade of India's sovereign rating to Ba1 will immediately cause a downgrade of TCS' rating.

TCS' Baa1 rating could also be downgraded if: (1) TCS provides support to its affiliate companies other than through its parent, Tata Sons Ltd.; (2) TCS undertakes material debt-funded acquisitions or increases its returns to shareholders, significantly undermining its credit profile; or (3) its operating performance significantly deteriorates. Specific credit metrics indicative of a downgrade include negative free cash flow (after dividends, share repurchases, capital spending and acquisitions) on a sustained basis or a significant weakening in TCS' balance-sheet liquidity.

Infosys

Given the guidelines regarding the differences between government and corporate ratings (see our Credit Policy paper titled Assessing the Impact of Sovereign Credit Quality on Other Ratings, published 20 June 2019), Infosys' rating will not be upgraded unless India's Baa3 sovereign rating is upgraded, which is unlikely given the negative outlook.

A downgrade of India's sovereign rating to Ba1 will immediately cause a one-notch downgrade to Infosys' rating.

Infosys' Baa1 rating could also be downgraded if (1) it undertakes material debt-funded acquisitions or increases returns to shareholders that significantly undermine its credit profile, or (2) its operating performance deteriorates significantly. Specific credit metrics indicative of a downgrade include sustained negative free cash flow generation (after dividends, share repurchases, capital spending and acquisitions) or a significant weakening in the company's balance-sheet liquidity.

RIL

Given the negative outlook, the rating is unlikely to be upgraded over the next 12-18 months. The outlook could return to stable if the outlook on India's sovereign rating returns to stable.

RIL's rating could be downgraded if the Indian sovereign rating is downgraded.

RIL's rating could also be downgraded if its credit metrics deteriorate as a result of (1) protracted weakness in its operations which results in significantly lower earnings beyond Moody's expectations, or (2) delay or cancellation of planned stake sales in its business segments, or (3) large debt-funded capital spending or acquisitions.

Credit metrics indicative of such a scenario include RCF/net debt below 20%, adjusted net debt/EBITDA above 3.0x, and EBITDA/ interest below 4x.

UPL Corp

UPL's ratings are capped at one notch higher than the Indian sovereign. As such, a positive rating action would require a return in the outlook on India's sovereign rating to stable.

An upgrade would also require tangible benefits following the seamless integration of the company's 2018 acquisition of Arysta Life Sciences, with EBITDA margins at the higher end of the 22%-25% range, debt/EBITDA leverage well below 2.5x and consistent positive free cash flow generation, all on a sustained basis.

A downgrade of the Indian sovereign below Ba1 will result in an immediate downgrade of UPL's Baa3 issuer rating, given the one-notch ratings cap.

UPL's ratings could also be downgraded if EBITDA margins fall below 18%, gross debt/EBITDA leverage remains above 3.5x and net debt/EBITDA exceeds 2.7x, all on a sustained basis. Any large debt-funded acquisitions that materially weaken the company's financial profile would also pressure the ratings.

The ratings incorporate Moody's assumption that UPL Corp remains an integral part of UPL Group and that the significant inter-linkages between the two continue. Therefore, any further material divestiture in UPL Corp by UPL Group, or any significant increase in dividend payments by UPL Corp, will be viewed negatively.

As the junior subordinate hybrid debt rating is positioned relative to other ratings of UPL, (1) a change in UPL's senior unsecured rating; or (2) a reevaluation of its relative notching could affect the Ba2 junior subordinate hybrid debt rating.

Genpact

Upward pressure on Genpact's rating is limited as long as the sovereign rating outlook is negative as Genpact cannot be rated more than one notch above the sovereign. If the outlook on sovereign rating is revised to stable, Moody's could upgrade the ratings of Genpact if it continues its organic and inorganic growth while maintaining prudent financial metrics such that it achieves annual revenues of at least $5 billion.

An upgrade would also require a shift in its business mix, such that digital revenue accounts for a higher portion of total revenues, or new contract wins, resulting in an increase in its EBITA margins to high teens in percentage terms. An upgrade of the BCA will also require that the uncertainty around company's ownership and management control, along with the potential liquidity challenge, being addressed.

Specific credit metrics indicative of an upgrade include (1) adjusted debt/EBITDA below 1.5x-2.0x, and (2) free cash flow/total debt in excess of 35% on a sustained basis.

Moody's could downgrade Genpact's rating if overly aggressive business acquisitions or higher-than-expected shareholder distributions cause the company's gross adjusted leverage to exceed 3.25x or net leverage on a reported basis to exceed 2.0x on a sustained basis.

At the same time, any departure from the company's current financial policies, resulting in a weakening of Genpact's financial profile, would also strain the ratings.

Downward rating pressure on Genpact will also emerge if India's sovereign rating falls below Ba1.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The List of Affected Credit Ratings announced here are all solicited credit ratings. Additionally, the List of Affected Credit Ratings includes additional disclosures that vary with regard to some of the ratings. Please click on this link https://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_ARFTL424924 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and provides, for each of the credit ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the following items:

Rating Solicitation

Issuer Participation

Participation: Access to Management

Participation: Access to Internal Documents

Disclosure to Rated Entity

Endorsement

Lead Analyst

Releasing Office

Person Approving the Credit Rating

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead rating analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Kaustubh Chaubal
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
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Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Vikas Halan
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Sweta Patodia
Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 307

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody's Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY'S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody's SF Japan K.K. ("MSFJ") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization ("NRSRO"). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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