Moody’s withdraws SBI’s forex bonds’ ratings

International rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday voluntarily withdrawn the ratings on the short-term foreign currency programme of the nation’s largest State Bank of India and its branches under its USD 10 billion global medium-term note programme “for its own business reasons”.

The move comes on a day when the bank is reportedly hit the dollar-bond market with a benchmark issue (upwards of USD 500 million). A call to the bank chairman for confirmation of the bond sale has not been responded yet. Similarly, an official reaction to the ratings withdrawal could also be immediately elicited.

Moody’s said all other ratings of the bank and its branches are unaffected by its action.

As the rationale for voluntarily withdrawing the ratings on the USD 10 billion foreign currency bonds, Moody’s said it “has decided to withdraw the ratings for its own business reasons”.

This means the withdrawal from ratings is voluntary on the part of the agency as it does ratings only on being solicited.

The agency said the rating withdrawal are on those forex bonds issued by SBI through its branches at the Dubai International Finance Centre, Hong Kong, London, and Nassau, a county in Florida, US.

The agency did not offer more details of these bonds such as size, issue and maturity dates and pricing among others.

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