There is a "genuine case" for rating agencies to consider giving an upgrade to India's sovereign rating following positive changes that have taken place in the country since 2013, says a report.
According to Deutsche Bank research report, India was among the 'fragile five' economies in 2013, but a lot has changed since then.
The report compared India and Indonesia's macro improvement in the past 4-5 years to ascertain whether there is a genuine case for India to deserve a ratings upgrade.
"Apart from a change in political leadership in 2014, the macro landscape has also changed favourably in the last four years, thanks to the bold reform measures initiated by the respective new governments in both these countries," Kaushik Das chief India economist at Deutsche Bank AG said in the report.
"Based on our analysis, we would argue that there is a genuine case for rating agencies to consider giving a ratings upgrade to India, or at least prepare the ground by first raising the outlook to positive (from stable), as an acknowledgement of the positive changes that have taken place in India since the 2013 'taper tantrum' period," he said.
The report said the Indian economy is far more resilient today, with low inflation, high real interest rates, large forex reserves, stable rupee and robust growth outlook.
Though banking sector NPA resolution and fiscal consolidation remain a work-in-progress, "but realistically each and every emerging market economy will have some areas of weakness at any given point of time," the report said.
According to Deutsche Bank, today India is perceived as a safe haven economy, which is likely to be lesser impacted than other key emerging market peers in the event of a severe external shock.
"While there will always be some weakness which can be singled out at any given point of time, we hope the rating agencies will give greater weight to the positive changes that have taken place in the economy over the last few years, while considering the ratings decision in the next round," the report added.
India's sovereign ratings has remained unchanged, with S&P and Fitch maintaining a stable outlook, while Moody's being more optimistic with a positive outlook.
Fitch had last revised India's ratings outlook to stable in June 2013, followed by S&P in September 2014, after which both the rating agencies have remained in a wait and watch mode. Moody's raised India's credit outlook to positive (from stable) in April 2015, the report said.
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