Crisil on Thursday downgraded its rating on Vodafone Idea’s non-convertible debentures worth Rs 3,500 crore to B+ from BB, the second-largest telecom major of the country said in an exchange filing.
The company said, “As per the rating rationale published on the website, the downgrade is in view of lower likelihood of any relief from Government of India after the Supreme Court on February 14, 2020, did not grant any relief in respect to the modification request filed by the telecom companies, including VIL and also has directed the telcos to make the payment before the next hearing on March 17, 2020”
Completing first installments of AGR dues, Vodafone Idea on Monday paid Rs 2,500 crore to the government and it will pay Rs 1,000 crore additionally by Friday. The original deadline to pay dues worth ₹50,000 crore was 23 January.
In January, Crisil downgraded non-convertible debentures of Vodafone Idea to BB from BBB- while India Ratings and Research downgraded long-term issuer rating of the company to BBB- from BBB, reported Mint.
Crisil’s move comes after the Supreme Court denied to grant any further relief to Vodafone Idea, which will make it even more difficult for the telcos to pay AGR dues.
As per the governments’ data, Bharti Airtel owes ₹35,586 crore to the DoT (Department of Telecom) as AGR dues.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea together covers 61% of Indian telecom market share. Both have collectively reported over ₹7,000 crores worth of losses in the December quarter.
(With input from agencies)