What is the Fitch Ratings?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 31, 2022, 8:28

Fitch Ratings is a New York- and London-based credit rating agency that gauges companies' financial health so that investors know which investments will yield solid returns and avoid risky bets. Fitch assesses debt through both quantitative and qualitative analysis, assessing the company's cash flow, gross debt, and the company's diversity of investors, among other factors.

  • It is a credit rating agency that maintains the profitability scale of investment opportunities with regard to their likely defaults and is one (of three) major credit rating agencies in the world, along with Moody's and Standard & Poor's (S&P's).
  • It was established in 1914.
  • Fitch Ratings uses a letter method of evaluation, such as AAA which indicates an extremely good reputation with consistent cash flows, whereas a firm rated D has already collapsed.

Fitch Ratings and India

  • Fitch sustains India's rating at 'BBB-' with a pessimistic outlook.
  • Huge public debt, a weak banking sector, and some lasting structural concerns are balanced against a medium-term growth projection and international resilience from robust foreign-reserve buffers in India's rating.
  • The country's swift economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as relieving banking sector constraints, are reducing medium-term growth threats.

Fitch Ratings System

What is a Credit Rating?

  • A credit score or rating is a determination of a borrower's creditworthiness. Organizations, people, or governments are the example of borrowers.
  • Governments and organizations are awarded 'credit ratings,' similar to how people are granted 'credit scores.'
  • It's vital to note that credit ratings are assigned to governments rather than countries.

The significance of credit ratings

  • Essentially, a government's credit rating demonstrates its capacity to repay borrowed funds.
  • Governments require these ratings in order to borrow money.
  • Credit ratings may reflect the viability of a country as an economic hub.
  • A country invites a credit rating firm to examine and rate its political and economic climate.
  • This is attempted to encourage foreign direct investment into the country.

Key Takeaways from Fitch Rating System

The Fitch Rating System has the following grades -

Investment Grade

  • AAA: Exceptionally high-quality enterprises.
  • AA: still of good quality, with a low danger of default.
  • A: minimal chance of default; somewhat more susceptible to business and economic variables
  • BBB: a minimal risk of default, economic variables may have a negative impact on the organization.

Non-investment grade

  • BB: increased risk of default; more vulnerable to adverse changes in dealing with economic situations.
  • B: deteriorating financial situation; high-risk investment
  • CCC: a genuine risk of default
  • CC: There's a good chance you'll default.
  • C: The default or similar procedure has started.
  • RD: the issuer has missed a payment.
  • D: defaulted

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Sovereign Credit Ratings by Fitch Ratings

Fitch assigns sovereign credit ratings to countries based on their capacity to satisfy their debt commitments. Investors can obtain sovereign credit ratings to assist them to understand the risks that are involved with investing in a specific country.

Fitch will be invited to assess their financial and political contexts, as well as their financial positions, in order to obtain an appropriate rating. It's critical to get the greatest sovereign credit rating, especially for developing countries, because it helps with obtaining money on foreign bond markets.

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Steps Taken by the Fitch Rating Process

The Steps Taken by the Fitch Rating Process are -

  • When an issuer approaches a rating agency, the rating procedure begins.
  • The agency gathers statistics, such as financial statements and reports.
  • The analyst conducts a pre-analysis and, if necessary, seeks non-public data.
  • A thorough questionnaire is prepared by the explanatory team.
  • Face-to-face discussions or onsite visits with the entity's relevant stakeholders and management are undertaken.
  • An in-depth survey is conducted, which includes the use of sector-specific grading standards and methodology.
  • In a committee package, the general and specific analysts create a report with rating suggestions and reasons.
  • After evaluating numerous qualitative and quantitative aspects, as well as the company's present and potential performance, the grading committee examines the rating information.
  • Allocates ratings and makes opinions public.
  • Continual observation

Fitch Ratings assigns forward-looking credit assessments ("ratings") to assets based on their risk of default. Shareholders, intermediaries, credit issuers, and enterprises and organizations all rely on Fitch's credit ratings.

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FAQs on Fitch Ratings

Q1. What does Fitch Ratings A+ mean?

Fitch Ratings A+ means the ability to meet financial obligations is seen as strong.

Q2. Who initiates the Fitch Ratings Process?

The Fitch Rating process begins with an issuer's rating application and the acceptance of a rating agreement.

Q3. What are the ratings of India, as per the Fitch Ratings?

India's credit rating was recently rated as BBB- with a negative outlook by Fitch Ratings.

Q4. How do you interpret Fitch Ratings?

Fitch Ratings Credit scale for issuers ranges from 'AAA' to 'BBB' and 'BB' to 'D', with an extra +/- for AA to CCC levels reflecting relative variations in the possibility of recovery for assets.