Credit agency CARE Ratings has given highest credit rating of AAA (SO) to state-run telecom firm BSNL for raising long term debt of Rs 8,000 crore from banks. "BSNL has been assigned the highest Credit Rating - AAA (SO) [Triple A (Structured Obligation)] by CARE Ratings for its Long Term Bank Facility of Rs 8,000 crores.
The rating signifies that instruments with this rating are considered to have the highest degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations," the PSU said in a statement. A senior official from BSNL's Finance Department said that the rating will help company raise debt of up to Rs 8,000 crore from banks whenever it plans to as per requirement.
"It depends on us when we raise the debt. The company will go for facility whenever need arises. The benefit of this rating is that loans will be given to BSNL at very less rate of interest as the credit rating is highest," the official said.
BSNL said that it has got its long term loan rated by CARE to comply with the condition of public sector banks. According to data shared by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in February this year, the loss making PSU is investing an over Rs 11,000 crore to improve its all-round services including strengthening network, modernising telephone exchanges and installing mobile towers in the naxal-dominated areas.
BSNL has been logging losses since 2009-10. The company's profits had started declining after 2004-05, when it had made net gains of Rs 10,183 crore. The company registered a net loss of Rs 7,884.44 crore in the financial year ended March 31, 2013.