The key parameters taken into account while rating a debt instrument are as follows:
1. Industry Evaluation - This involves an evaluation of the following:
General profile of the industry, major competitors, extent of competition, growth potential and trend of both domestic and international development.
Demand and supply position of the product, existing installed and licensed capacities, and capacities in the pipeline.
Position of import and export, technological developments, price trends, availability, source, quality and prices of major inputs.
Government policies and regulations affecting the industry and other major problems and constraints.
2. Unit Evaluation - This company level evaluation involves an assessment of the following:
Position of the unit in the industry, market share, competitive edge, major strengths and weaknesses.
Product range and quality, market segmentation and seasonality of the market, marketing strategies, channels and network.
Future program, goals and targets. Product range and portfolio diversification, need, scope and prospects of diversification and expansion.
Group/associate company performances, support and synergy.
In addition to the above mentioned parameters, the rating analysis of debt instruments issued by finance companies may include the following parameters:
Regulatory and Competitive Environment Analysis - Effect of changes in regulatory structure on the operations of the finance company.
Fundamental Analysis - The fundamental issues that need to be evaluated are:
Assessment of the net worth and the capital adequacy of the finance company.
Details relating to the sources of finance, cost of funds, maturity of the sources, etc.
Analyzing the credit exposures of individuals/corporates, etc., and examining the quality of credit risk management.
Maturity matching process of assets and liabilities and the liquidity management techniques.
Track record of profits, spreads maintained, non-interest income, etc.
Exposure to interest rate fluctuations and hedging mechanism.
Revision of tax laws and the sensitivity of the company to such changes.
While the above credit analysis generally applies to long-term and medium-term debt paper, the criteria for short-term debt paper will be slightly different. Symbols used for rating vary from rating agency to agency.