PNB Housing Fin: Downgrade to ‘sell’; revise TP to Rs 485

By: |
October 20, 2021 2:00 AM

Preferential issue has been held up for more than four months (after already taking over two years), due to the pending legal proceeding before SAT.

Downgrade to ‘sell’ from ‘buy’. We cut our earnings estimate by >10%/>20% for FY22E/FY23E.Downgrade to ‘sell’ from ‘buy’. We cut our earnings estimate by >10%/>20% for FY22E/FY23E.

PNB Housing Finance’s (PNBHF’s) Board has decided not to proceed with the proposed preferential issue of Rs 40billion @ Rs390 per share to Carlyle group, General Atlantic, SSG Group and other investors. Preferential issue has been held up for more than four months (after already taking over two years), due to the pending legal proceeding before SAT. Also, in an exchange filing, the company highlighted that there is lack of visibility or certainty as to the timeline for judicial determination of the legal issues and regulatory approvals were not expected to be forthcoming amid litigation.

With proposed deal being off the table, the overhang resurfaces: Carlyle raising its stake to 50% and thereby, PNB’s stake coming down to ~20% would have put to rest the overhang of any further stake sale in the interim. Equity infusion of Rs 40billion would have led to sharp uptick in CAR and reduced gearing to <5x. Improvement in capital adequacy ratio and low gearing would have instilled confidence in debt market and hence, prospects of debt rating could have improved, which is now unlikely.

Carlyle group raising stake was in-line with the company’s stated strategy of strengthening governance, management and the Board. Aditya Puri’s nomination to the Board would have lent considerable credence to the company’s business transition and strategic intentions.

With deal being called off, concerns related to asset quality and growth re-emerge. Proposed preferential issue was a notable trigger for re-rating of stock as it would have strengthened balance sheet and supported growth. Stock has almost doubled since the announcement of capital infusion in May 2021.

With the deal being called off, stock is likely to derate again to 0.75x FY23E book (from 1x currently) as earnings and growth momentum would derail.We revise our target price to Rs 485 (earlier: Rs 848). Downgrade to ‘sell’ from ‘buy’. We cut our earnings estimate by >10%/>20% for FY22E/FY23E.

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