International credit rating agency Fitch renewed its Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and Viability Ratings on private lenders ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. The ratings on the two banks have been revised to 'BBB-' and 'bbb' respectively.
Explaining its reasons for the negative review on Axis Bank, Fitch said, "The Negative Outlook on Axis's IDR (issuer default ratings ) reflects rising pressure on its standalone profile relative to banks with a Viability Rating of BBB-, stemming from heightened asset-quality stress and weak earnings. Its capital buffers are less comfortable for its current rating despite raising fresh capital."
It also downgraded ICICI's Support Rating to 3 from 2, and revised its Support Rating Floor to BB+, from BBB-.
Overall, Fitch had a negative outlook on the whole banking sector that majorly reported losses for the March 2018 quarter. For the same period, Axis bank reported its first-ever quarterly loss. Many large private sector bank earnings were also hurt.
In its press release, it showed a stable outlook on ICICI Bank, stating that its capital buffers are better despite financial deterioration similar to Axis Bank in the past few years.