Mumbai: Three months, four cities and 124 meetings with analysts investors later, the Yes Bank management is struggling to win back the confidence of 20 analysts who have tempered their views on its stock. These analysts, out of the 54 covering the Yes Bank stock, had changed their view on India’s fourth largest private sector bank after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) denied an extension for its managing director and chief executive officer Rana Kapoor.

Brokerages, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BNP Paribas Equity Research have lowered their rating on the Yes Bank stock to either underweight, reduce or neutral. Meanwhile, mutual funds have pared their stake in Yes Bank, with some like Birla Sun Life Trustee Co. Pvt. Ltd along with its various schemes, which held around 1.89% stake in the bank as on September 2018, exiting completely.

Selling by institutions has brought Yes Bank stock down nearly 51% since 19 September. As of now, mutual funds hold 10.55% in Yes Bank while foreign portfolio investors hold 39.5%.

Attempts by the bank’s management to assuage the analysts’s fears have not helped.

Over the last three months, the management led by executive directors Rajat Monga and Pralay Mondal has met as many as 124 foreign and domestic investors across Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore and Hong Kong. Kapoor, who is the face of the bank, has not attended these meetings, analysts said.

An email sent to Yes bank and Birla Sun Life remain unanswered.

Analysts continue to be unhappy with the bank’s inability to disclose the reason behind the RBI not giving an extension to CEO Kapoor. At least two analysts said it is difficult to put a buy rating on Yes Bank because they are not sure if it is only because of the bad loan divergence, or if there were other reasons not known to the public.

“Management transition, growth capital and RBI’s divergence report of the bank are the three main issues concerning foreign investors. The management had been positive about getting a clean chit for the divergence report so far but they sound doubtful now," said Suresh Ganapathy, head of financial sector research at Macquarie Capital Securities India Pvt. Ltd. Macquarie has an outperform rating on the stock.

An RBI report following this year’s annual inspection is expected to highlight any difference in the bank’s accounting of non-performing assets compared to the central bank standards.

The bank had reported a massive divergence in reported bad loans between fiscal years 2014-15 and 2016-17. In view of these past lapses, RBI decided not to grant an extension of tenure for Kapoor as the MD and CEO of the bank. Since then, Yes Bank has seen several exits by board members and even a member of the search committee which was set up to appoint a successor to Kapoor.

On 27 November, Mint reported that RBI is inspecting Yes Bank’s exposure to Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL), Indiabulls Group, and Sudhir Valia-promoted entities to verify any inter-connectedness among these entities. Separately, the two estranged promoters of the bank—Rana Kapoor and Madhu Kapur—are currently in talks to settle their legal disputes.

Some analysts are not concerned about the settlement talks between the two promoters as they feel the economic interest of Kapur will be to see a smooth transition, while some feel a settlement will put to rest some of the uncertainty surrounding the rights of promoters.

Varun Sood in Delhi contributed to this story.

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