Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Tuesday, NIFTY ended lower at 17,362 (-0.1%) as it closed 40 points below the opening level of 17,402. Among the sectoral indices, CONSUMER DURABLES (+1.0%), FMCG (+0.3%), and FINANCIAL SERVICES (+0.2%) ended higher, whereas REALTY (-2.3%), IT (-1.3%), and PSU BANK (-1.3%) ended lower. Among the stocks, BHARTIARTL (+2.6%), HDFC (+2.5%), and GRASIM (+1.6%) led the gainers while SUNPHARMA (-2.2%), BPCL (-1.8%), and HINDALCO (-1.8%) led the losers.
Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Rahul Shukla, Group Head, Commercial & Rural Banking, of HDFC Bank (HDFCBANK) with Economic Times on 6th September 2021:
- The reality is very different from what is spoken about in TV newsrooms. The commercial vehicle and construction equipment business is strong, credit utilisation by MSMEs is steadily increasing every month, the healthcare sector is fairly credit-strong.
- The bank continues to expand its geographic footprint, extending credit in rural and semi-urban areas of the country, and sees no credit challenges in finding new business.
- The bank is active in transportation finance, where it finances trucks, construction equipment, and tractors. The disbursements in July were 40% higher than in June, and in August, were 20-25% higher than in July.
- The bank operates in 100,000 villages and in two years, it may expand to 200,000 villages. Even if it’s a huge jump, it is still only 30% of the market. The bank has a robust digital platform which has helped it to add new customers.
- Rural lending today is about 90% crop-based lending. Crop-based lending is largely related to the price of dal and sugarcane. As the ecosystem is completely changing, there is a lot of push in vegetables, fruits, poultry, piggery, etc. which accounts for 60-65% of the crop-based lending.
Asset Multiplier Comments
- Banks were willing to lend to the rural population during the 1st covid wave period as they were not as much affected as urban areas. The rural population was largely affected during the 2nd covid wave, and it is still recovering from the impact. Therefore, the dynamics related to lending may be different going forward.
- HDFC Bank has seen a reduction in interest expenses and other operating expenses over the last 5 years. This trend is likely to continue in the upcoming years as the bank continues to manage its deposits and borrowings well. With reducing provisions led by an increase in NPA recoveries, the bank’s increasing geographic footprint, and well-balanced CASA deposits, we expect the bank’s prospects to improve further.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website and investing.com website)
- The closing price of HDFCBANK was ₹ 1,570/- as of 07-Sept-2021. It traded at 3.7x/3.2x/2.7x the consensus book value estimate of ₹ 423/488/574 for FY22E/FY23E/FY24E respectively.
- The consensus target price of ₹ 1,760/- implies a PB multiple of 3.1x on FY24E BVPS of ₹ 574/-.
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