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SEBI Tightens Disclosure, Review Norms For Rating Agencies

SEBI ordered CRAs to analyse deterioration in the liquidity conditions of an issuer, while monitoring its repayment schedules and taking into account any asset-liability mismatches

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) tightened disclosure and review norms for credit rating agencies (CRAs) today, following concerns this year after firms failed to raise timely red flags ahead of the collapse of one of India's top shadow banks.

SEBI ordered CRAs to analyse deterioration in the liquidity conditions of an issuer, while monitoring its repayment schedules and taking into account any asset-liability mismatches.

The regulator also said CRAs should disclose parameters such as liquid investments or cash balances, access to any unutilised credit lines and adequacy of cash flows in a specific section on liquidity.

Rating agencies have come under pressure from authorities and investors over their failure to proactively flag financial problems at Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd's (IL&FS) until after a subsidiary defaulted on some of its debt this year.

A string of subsequent defaults at IL&FS triggered sharp declines in Indian stock and debt markets spreading fears of contagion within the rest of the country's financial sector, and prompting the government to step in and take control of IL&FS.


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