Bombay Stock Exchange
Bombay Stock Exchange
Business & Economy

Markets feel the pinch of SC order on telecos, Moody's downgrade


Mumbai, February 17, 2020

Indian markets closed lower as fresh growth worries emerged after global rating agency Moody's revised down India's growth forecast. The BSE Sensex lost over 200 points on Monday, led by fall in banking and telecom stocks over the SC order in the AGR case.

Investors have been worried after Moody's slashed India's growth forecast to 5.4 per cent for 2020 from 6.6 per cent on slower than expected economic recovery. Moody's also cut 2021 growth projections to 5.8 per cent from 6.7 per cent earlier.

The market reacted adversely as the apex court had pulled up telcos for not paying the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability, leaving the telcos with limited options to get relief from legal or government sources.

According to Motilal Oswal, the recent SC order could have "far-reaching serious ramifications on the telecom and banking sectors with ripple effects on the overall economy".

Bank of Baroda, SBI, PNB, Yes Bank and RBL Bank fell over 1 to 5 per cent while Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea also ended in the red.

Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services said: "Domestic growth concerns seem to be back in the market as indicated by a recent downgrade by Moody's. Banks having significant exposure in Telecom players continue to be in the limelight as lack of funds could delay the payments and degrade the quality of banks balance sheet."

"Continuous rise in coronavirus cases has forced major Asian peers to downgrade their growth outlook which could cause a ripple effect in other nations in the first quarter while recovery is expected from the second," he added.

The Sensex closed 202.05 points or 0.49 per cent lower at 41,055.69 after falling to as much as 41,030.58. All the sectors ended in red except IT with PSU banks being the biggest loser followed by Pharma, Realty, Metals, and Media.

The banking stocks came under pressure after the Supreme Court refused to accept Vodafone Idea's proposal to pay adjusted gross revenue dues in a staggered manner.

Besides, investors globally continue to trade cautiously as coronavirus-related deaths climbed past 1,700 and total cases jumped to 70,500. However, Asian stock markets saw some recovery after China said it will announce measures to arrest economic slump owing to the virus outbreak.