Tata cos continue to benefit from rating uplift, despite board reshuffle

Tata cos continue to benefit from rating uplift, despite board reshuffle

30/11/2016 11:53

Moody’s Investors Service, a global rating agency, has said that the ratings of four Tata Group operating companies continue to benefit from uplift from the group’s main holding company, Tata Sons (unrated), despite the group’s ongoing board reshuffle.

“We expect that Tata Sons can continue to extend support to its key operating companies, should the need arise, owing to its substantial cash holdings and the significant value of its listed equity investments, and despite an ongoing boardroom reshuffle,” says Kaustubh Chaubal, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst.

Consequently, the ratings of the group’s four operating companies — Tata Motors Limited (Ba1 stable), Tata Chemicals Limited (Ba1 stable), Tata Steel Ltd. (Ba3 negative) and The Tata Power Company Limited (Ba3 negative) — will continue to include a one notch uplift, based on Moody’s assessment of support for the companies from Tata Sons, in times of need.

As for Tata Consultancy Services Limited (A3 stable), Tata Group’s flagship subsidiary, the company’s rating reflects its intrinsic credit strength.

In Moody’s view, it is business as usual at the rated Tata companies, which are listed entities, in spite of the leadership change. Moody’s says that it does not expect any change in the operating and long-term strategy of the Tata companies.

“Nonetheless, any change in group strategy or in the strategy of the operating companies — which in our view increases their risk appetite — could exert pressure on the Tata companies’ ratings,” adds Chaubal.

Moody’s also says that a change in Tata Sons’ support policy for its group companies could also affect the Tata Group operating companies’ ratings.

Moody’s report comes after Tata Sons replaced its chairman, Cyrus Mistry, with his predecessor, Ratan Tata. Tata Sons is also seeking to remove Mistry from the boards of four rated group companies and independent director, Nusli Wadia, from the boards of three rated group companies.

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