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Moody's holds talks with Govt on rating review

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov. 20

OFFICIALS of the global credit rating agency, Moody's Investors Service today held discussions with senior Finance Ministry officials, ahead of the promised upgrade of India's foreign currency rating.

Last week, Moody's had said that India's foreign currency country ceiling for debt and bank deposits would be reviewed for a possible upgrade.

Moody's current rating for India is Ba2 with a stable outlook.

At today's meeting, issues like internal debt, fiscal deficit and the disinvestment target were discussed.

Moody's had said that the rating review was based primarily on the strengthening of the country's external financial situation.

This had been achieved despite the continued stress on public finances and last year's broad-based reduction in import tariffs.

Moody's said that its ongoing analysis of India was focused on whether the fiscal problems facing the government could spill over into a balance of payments crisis.

Fitch Ratings, the third of the big three in the international ratings business, is also scheduled to meet with senior Government officials shortly. Fitch has assigned a BB rating with a positive outlook.

Standard and Poor's, which had assigned India's local currency debt to junk status, in September has a BB rating for India's foreign currency country ceiling with a negative outlook.

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