Guidelines on What Constitutes Non-Cooperation

Last Reviewed On: October 11, 2022 (Version 5)

  1. For the purpose of surveillance and review, Acuité calls for the information / data from the rated clients. In terms of the Agreement entered into by the client with Acuité, the client is required, inter alia, to:
    • Furnish on a continuous basis all information in a timely manner as may be required by Acuité during the lifetime of the facilities / instrument rated by Acuité and
    • Pay the annual surveillance fee and all other charges billed by Acuité in full.
  2. In case the rated entity does not provide the information called for by Acuité and does not respond to telephonic follow ups by Acuité's executives, Acuité shall send a reminder through email / letter to the rated entity. Similarly, in case the annual surveillance fee and any other amounts payable to Acuité are not paid in full and on time, Acuité will remind the rated entity to pay the annual surveillance fee and all other amounts payable to Acuité through email / letter. If, in spite of reminder, the information required or the annual surveillance fee is not received from the entity, the entity will be considered as a non-cooperating entity
  3.  (a.) If an issuer has all the outstanding ratings as non-cooperative for more than 6 months, then Acuite shall downgrade the rating assigned to the instrument of such issuer to non-investment grade with INC status.
    (b.) Acuite will not assign a new rating(s) to an issuer if the issuer has its outstanding rating(s) tagged as "Issuer not cooperating” for a period of one year or more. For Acuite to assign a new rating(s), the issuer will have to resume cooperation with its existing CRA and have the tag "issuer not cooperating” removed in the latest press release OR have its rating(s) - [that are tagged as "Issuer not cooperating”] - withdrawn from its existing CRA.
  4. If an issuer fails to submit monthly ‘No Default Statement’ for consecutive months (corresponding to applicable instruments) as specified in table below , Acuite will flag off the rated entity as "Issuer Not Cooperating”. However, the above will not apply in cases where the issuer is able to establish (i) technical or procedural issues for NDS submission OR (ii) a track record of timely debt servicing for the period as stipulated above. It is pertinent to note that the above timeline is the longest gap that Acuite will consider for flagging a rated entity as "Issuer not cooperating” and does not preclude situations where flagging as "Issue Not Cooperating” is effected in a shorter timeframe, if specific circumstances so warrant.
  5.  Rated Instrument   Investment Grade    Sub-Investment Grade# 
     BLR and/or unlisted debt only  6 months   9 months 
     Listed Debt and/or FDs 3 months     3 months 
      BLR and/or unlisted debt + Listed debt and/or FDs   3 months   3 months 

    Note: Listed debt could include Bonds, Debentures, CP, Pref Shares, PTCs and any other listed instrument by any name. 

    # - "These guidelines will not apply to outstanding ratings in the 'C' and 'D; categories as these issuers are expected to be delaying or defaulting on their debt servicing obligations. A monthly statement that confirms default is not expected to trigger any further rating action."

  6. An instance where an issuer (whether or not flagged off as "Issuer not Co-operating") has failed to cooperate (please refer point 2 above), is considered by Acuité to be fraught with serious information risk. If Acuité is of the opinion that lack of cooperation by such an entity coupled with information risk makes the currently outstanding rating untenable, Acuité may take necessary rating action that may include a multi-notch rating transition. Acuité will also update the banker(s) with the rating action so taken.