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PSU banks rally; Punjab & Sind, Uco Bank, Indian Bank surge up to 12%

At 02:23 pm, Nifty PSU Bank index, the top gainer among sectoral indices, was up 2.5 per cent

PSU banks rally; Punjab & Sind, Uco Bank, Indian Bank surge up to 12%

SI Reporter Mumbai

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Shares of public sector banks (PSBs) rallied up to 12 per cent amid heavy volumes, in an otherwise a weak market, on expectation of strong earnings in the January-March quarter (Q4FY23).

At 02:23 pm, Nifty PSU Bank index, the top gainer among sectoral indices, was up 2.5 per cent as compared to 0.78 per cent decline in the Nifty 50. In the past one week, PSU Bank index has surged 5 per cent, as against 0.33 per cent rise in the benchmark index.

Among individual stocks, Punjab & Sind Bank soared 12 per cent to Rs 31.15 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The average trading volumes on the counter jumped over three-fold today. A combined 9.5 million equity shares had changed hands on the NSE and BSE till the time of writing of this report.

Indian Bank, meanwhile, rallied 6 per cent to Rs 304.90, inching towards its 52-week high level of Rs 310, touched on February 1, 2023. The trading volumes on the counter more-than-doubled with a combined 2.6 million shares having changed hands on the NSE and BSE.

State Bank of India (SBI), Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Uco Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Punjab National Bank, too, surged in the range of 2 per cent to 4 per cent on the NSE.

India's Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation for the month of March came in at 1.34 per cent. In February, the WPI inflation was 3.85 per cent. Recently, the India's retail inflation had eased to a 15-month low of 5.66 per cent in March.

This has raised hpes that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may consider an extended pause in its interest rate hike regime.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may, still, need to look for stabilization of WPI inflation at these levels and more importantly a reduction in the CPI index before taking the decision to pivot its policy stance. With economic growth still looking on track, the reduction in inflation increases the headroom for policy maneuvering quite significantly and keeps India in its position amongst the global growth leaders” said Mohit Ralhan - Chief Executive Officer, TIW Capital.

Meanwhile, earnings growth is likely to remain healthy for PSBs, aided by healthy margins and a constant reduction in the credit cost. However, opex is likely to remain elevated as banks provide for wage revisions, which could slightly impact the operating profitability. Treasury performance is likely to remain stable, Motilal Oswal Financial Services (MOFSL) said.

Loan growth is likely to remain healthy; however, traction in deposits and a rise in the cost of funds would influence the margin trajectory in the medium term. The credit cost is likely to remain stable as asset quality improves further, MOFSL said its results preview report.

"Coverage PSU banks may see tad better loan growth than the system at 4.8 per cent QoQ/17.9 per cent YoY, although net interest income (NII) growth may be 6.4 per cent QoQ/30.6 per cent YoY. NIMs to improve by 7bps QoQ to 3.53 per cent (last quarter at 20bps)," said analysts at Prabhudas Lilladher in an earnings preview report.

Driven by steady NII growth and jump in fees for SBI, core pre-provision operating profit (PPoP) might grow by 24.9 per cent YoY to Rs 32,300 crore. Asset quality expected to remain steady as slippages would remain range bound, while provisions would fall from 87bps to 69bps as SBI may see normalization of standard asset provisions. Core PAT is expected to be at Rs 18,900 crore (+24 per cent QoQ)," the brokerage firm said.

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First Published: Apr 17 2023 | 3:12 PM IST

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