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RBI announces standard rating symbols
October, 14th 2011

The Reserve Bank on Thursday announced uniform and standard rating symbols to be used for indicating financial health of a bank.

The change in rating symbols and definitions, however, does not effect, in any manner, the rating methodology followed by the credit rating agencies (CRAs) for rating such instruments and will have no bearing on the existing ratings assigned by the CRAs under the Basel-II framework, the Reserve Bank of India said in a statement.

Under the revised standardised system, there is no change in the long term rating symbols except that they will henceforth display the rating agency's name as a prefix, it said.

"In case of short term ratings, a rating scale denoted by 'A' on a scale of '1' to '4' (i.e. A1, A2, A3 and A4) and 'D' has been prescribed," it said.

Four domestic CRAs namely CARE, CRISIL, FITCH India and ICRA have been accredited for the purpose of risk weighting the banks' claims for capital adequacy purposes.

The long term and short term ratings issued by the chosen domestic credit rating agencies have been mapped to the appropriate risk weights applicable as per the standardized approach under the Basel II framework.

In June this year, capital market regulator SEBI had asked CRAs to adopt standard symbols and definitions to help investors to understand better the financial health of firms.

The four accredited CRAs, which are registered with SEBI, have therefore revised their rating symbols of long term and short term debt instruments.

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