Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd. or CRISIL is a company that provides risk and policy advisory services along with ratings and market research. It is a subsidiary of S&P - the latter owns a majority stake in CRISIL. Established in 1987, it is India’s first credit rating agency.
Understand CRISIL rating
Among other things, CRISIL has its subsidiary CRISIL Ratings Ltd. which is a pioneer of credit rating in India. It rates either financial instruments or entire organisations for credit worthiness. Such organisations may include manufacturing companies, financial corporations, banks, NBFCs, government and government bodies, PSUs, MSME, real estate projects, educational institutions and mutual funds. Financial instruments related to such organisations that are rated by CRISIL may include bonds, debentures, bank loans, commercial paper, collateralised securities etc.
CRISIL rating list helps potential investors make informed decisions related to investment in financial instruments and companies. It also helps companies raise capital by giving them a higher degree of legitimacy and approval - therefore, many organisations use their CRISIL ratings as a key point in their marketing.
For financial instruments and organisations, CRISIL rates the safety of the investment in the instrument or the organisation with symbols - CRISIL AAA shows the highest safety, followed by AA, A, BBB, BB, B C and finally Default or D respectively - sometimes CRISIL may add a (+) or a (-) to the symbol.
CRISIL releases rankings of mutual funds - the rankings are used by investors alongside other variables such as Net Asset Value, Asset Under Management, Sharpe Ratio etc.
How is CRISIL Rating used in investment decisions?
The CRISIL rating shows the financial health of an organisation in terms of its ability to meet its liability obligations on time regularly. CRISIL regularly updates its ratings - hence if investors lack the time or the resources to make a particular investment decision, then they can refer to the CRISIL rating (and reports, if available) to come to a decision.
Understand CRISIL mutual fund rankings
CRISIL rating for mutual funds is shown on a scale of 1 to 5 - CRISIL Fund Rank 1 being the best (indicating a “very good performance”) and Rank 5 the worst. From a peer group, the top 10 percentile in CRISIL MF ranking is considered as Rank 1 and the next 20 percentile as Rank 2.
CRISIL Mutual Fund Rankings or CMFR are decided primarily on the basis of the following parameters -
Superior Return Score -
The returns of the fund in comparison to its portfolios
Portfolio Concentration Analysis -
A portfolio with too much diversification is rated low
Mean Return and Volatility -
Mean return is the daily average return based on NAV and volatility refers to the fluctuations in returns
Quality of Asset -
It refers to the likelihood of the debtors (in a debt fund or a hybrid fund) not defaulting on timely repayments
Basically the ease with which a fund can liquidate its position
Tracking error -
Applicable only to funds that are tracking any indices, this measures the variation in the fund’s performance from the performance of the index that it is tracking
Exposure to sensitive sectors -
It measures the Industry Risk Score in order to assess the risks associated with the industry the stock/debt is related to
Counting of negative returns -
The downside risks associated with Arbitrage Funds are measured by this metric
However, it is important to remember that each fund operates in a particular context which CRISIL takes into account while assessing its performance and credit-worthiness.
It is clear that theCRISIL credit ratings are a very useful tool for both retail investors trying to judge one or two fixed income securities or equities as well as large investors and traders trying to make profits from trading in debt and equity. If you want to become an investor or a trader yourself, start reading up on financial markets and then try opening a demat account with a trusted online brokerage platform.