Cox & Kings Fiasco: India’s Credit Ratings Agencies Are Unfit and Unaccountable

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SOURCEHKH Research

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. The appalling record of incompetence, and likely worse, by India’s credit rating agencies (CRAs) continues to lengthen. The latest instance is the double default of commercial debt obligations (on June 27 and July 1, 2019) by Cox and Kings, a tour and travels services company. In this case the CRAs were CARE and Brickwork, who ignored problems which could have been easily identified at an earlier stage. Although Cox and Kings is not a prominent company, this default should be seen in the light of the debacle at IL&FS, and the forced leave of Naresh Takkar, the long serving CEO of ICRA (a Moody’s subsidiary). These events underline the fact that India’s CRAs are unfit and unaccountable. Investors in rated debt paper have to analyse investments independent of the CRAs, as they cannot be relied upon.

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