15-05-2024 01:41 PM | Source: Emkay Global Financial Services
Buy HDFC Bank Ltd For Target Rs.2,000 By Emkay Global Financial Services

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After the Q3 miss, HDFCB largely ticked all the boxes in Q4 – delivering betterthan-expected deposit growth (over Rs1.7trn QoQ), positively surprising on the margin front (over 3bps QoQ) to 3.63% despite the sharp fall in LDR to 104% and accelerated branch expansion. HDFCB utilized HDFC Credila’s stake sale gains of Rs73bn and tax reversal due to favorable court order to shore-up contingent provision buffer (over Rs109bn QoQ) to 1.1% of loans. However, higher staff cost due to ex-gratia provision led to a 3% PAT miss at Rs165bn. Going forward, as per management, ramping up retail deposits and margin management amid potential pressure from lower incremental LDR/inorganic PSL build-up (from Oct-25) to meet sub-targets will take precedence over credit growth. Factoring in slower growth, we have trimmed our earnings estimates for FY25-26E by ~7%. However, we retain BUY with a revised TP of Rs2,000 (earlier Rs2,100), valuing the standalone bank at 2.5x Mar-26E (from 2.7x Dec25E), partly offset by better subs. valuation (Rs250/sh vs. earlier Rs190/sh).

Retail deposit mobilization, margin management to take precedence over credit growth

HDFCB reported subdued credit growth at 12.5%YoY/1.6% QoQ on a merged basis as the bank continues to run down eHDFCL’s corporate book. However, the bank accelerated deposit growth QoQ – Rs1.66trn, including retail deposits at ~Rs1.3trn and the balance being bulk deposits, which in turn led to a sharp reduction in LDR by 600bps QoQ to 104%, thereby easing regulatory concerns. The bank also reported an improvement in LCR to 115%. Despite the sharp fall in LDR, the bank managed to report a slight uptick in NIMs (+3bps QoQ) to 3.63%, much to our and street’s surprise. Going forward, management would avoid giving any tangible guidance. However, management reemphasized its stance on retail deposit mobilization and managing margins via a better portfolio mix, replacing eHDFCL’s high-cost borrowings and need be a rate hike, amid rising pressure from lower incremental LDR and inorganic PSL build-up to meet subtargets as the RBI leeway ends in Sep-25.

One-off gains consumed to build a strong contingent provision buffer and, thus, balance-sheet resiliency

HDFCB’s headline asset quality continues to improve with the GNPA ratio largely stable at 1.2%, but the bank has shored-up contingent provision buffers (over Rs109bn QoQ) to 1.1% of loans utilizing one-off gains from HDFC Credila’s stake sale gains and lower tax incidence due to a favorable court case. This should improve HDFCB’s balance-sheet resiliency and tier-II capital ratio, while management indicates that it has no plans to utilize these provisions except for unexpected events. In addition to contingent/floating provision buffer, the bank maintains a healthy specific PCR at 74% and, thus, should help the bank maintain incremental LLP at 0.5-0.6%, amid rising margin pressure.

Retain BUY with a lower TP of Rs2000/share

We have cut our earnings estimates for FY25-26E by ~7%, factoring in slower credit growth and, thus, slightly lower RoA/RoE at 1.8-1.9%/15-16% over FY25-26E. However, we retain BUY with a downward revised TP of Rs2,000 (earlier Rs2,100), valuing the standalone bank at 2.5x its Mar-26E (from 2.7x Dec-25E), partly offset by better subsidiary valuation (Rs250/sh vs. earlier Rs190/sh), including mainly NBFC subsidiary – HDB Financial Services (to come for the IPO in FY25) and HDFC AMC.


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