Earnings growth slowing for banks
We believe the recent run-up in prices of financial stocks, especially banks, is an attractive opportunity to reduce exposure. We downgrade Punjab National Bank (PNB) to Reduce (from Add) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) to Add (from Buy). We downgrade HDFC Bank to Sell (from Reduce) as we find valuations expensive at 3.6x (times) book value and 18x FY2014e EPS. We see RoEs (return on equity) of 18-19% and earnings growth of 25% CAGR over FY2012-14e. Further, we revise our target price for HDFC Bank to R580 from (R575 earlier). On the other hand we like ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and SBI at current levels despite limited upside.
Asset quality pressure to continue: We expect fresh loan impairments (slippages and restructuring of loans) at elevated levels in Q2FY13. Retail-focused banks could probably see a marginal rise in NPLs (non-performing loans) but the focus would continue in the non-retail loan dominated portfolios in which we expect slippages to stay high, especially SME and mid-corporate loans. However, fresh restructuring is likely to be relatively lower than the previous quarter as we donít expect large restructuring from the SEB
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