Tata Steel Limited received a noteworthy upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, with the steel giant now holding a Baa3 long-term issuer rating along with a stable outlook. This development serves as a significant milestone, underscoring Tata Steel’s formidable standing in the Indian market, the consistent enhancement of its European operations, and its close affiliation with Tata Sons Limited.
Notably, this upgrade has propelled Tata Steel’s long-term rating from Ba1 to Baa3, signifying a positive shift in its creditworthiness. The stock was in the spotlight as it soared 1.41%.
India is a major player in the global steel market. Projections show its finished steel consumption could reach 230 million tonnes by 2030-31, up from 119.17 million tonnes in FY23. India is the world’s second-largest producer of crude steel, with 125.32 million tonnes produced and 121.29 million tonnes of finished steel in FY23. India’s projected 7% annual steel consumption growth until 2030, fuelled by substantial infrastructure investments and heightened demand from the automotive sector, positions Tata Steel for further success.
Within Tata Steel’s business verticals, Tata Steel Limited takes the lead with a significant value of 40.29%, followed by Tata Steel Europe, which holds a substantial share at 26.58%.
Tata Steel’s recent achievement of a Baa3 issuer rating underscores several key factors:
Large-Scale, Globally Competitive Operations: Tata Steel’s prominence in the global steel market is evident through its extensive and cost-competitive steel operations in India. Its vertically integrated approach ensures a strong presence in the steel sector, with a Baa3 stable rating.
European Operations Resurgence: Tata Steel’s European operations have shown remarkable improvement, particularly with the anticipated closure of unprofitable upstream operations in the UK. Although challenges persist with Aa3 negative outlook, this resurgence contributes positively to the company’s overall standing.
Strong Parental Support: The company’s close ties with its parent company, Tata Sons Limited, also contribute to its robust rating.
However, it’s important to note that the rating also takes into account Tata Steel’s exposure to the inherent volatility in steel prices and spreads, as well as the historically turbulent performance of its European operations. While Tata Steel’s Indian operations (TSI) consistently contribute significantly to its consolidated earnings, the company’s European operations (TSE) lack the advantage of backward integration and have a historical track record of earnings volatility, which has weighed on the company’s credit profile.
Nonetheless, the future looks promising. The upcoming enhancements in Tata Steel’s UK cost structure, coupled with the commendable performance of its Dutch operations, ensure the company’s credit profile remains robust. This resilience proves vital in the face of soft steel prices and weakening global steel demand caused by rising interest rates and economic uncertainties.
Tata Steel’s upgrade to investment grade is a testament to its resilience and strategic initiatives. The company’s ability to navigate challenges in its European operations, capitalize on growth in the Indian market, and maintain strong financial metrics positions it for a promising future. This milestone underscores Tata Steel’s commitment to sustainable growth and financial stability.
Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.