Home / Market / Stock-market-news /  Yes Bank turns Rana Kapoor into a billionaire as stock climbs

Singapore: Rana Kapoor, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Yes Bank Ltd, has become a billionaire as shares in the lender jumped 16.4% this month, making it the best-performing stock among India’s banks.

The Mumbai-based lender is benefiting from its low bad-loan ratio and robust return on equity, according to Alpesh Mehta, Mumbai-based analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.

India’s banks have seen their profits squeezed recently by a surge in bad loans. The industry’s gross bad-loan ratio jumped to a 14-year high of 9.1% in September, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s Financial Stability Report released in December.

“Whatever metric that you see when you look at banking stocks, whether you focus on margins, fees, operating efficiency, credit costs, any of these parameters, they have been doing a fantastic job," said Mehta, who has a “buy" recommendation on Yes Bank.

The lender’s shares added another 1.7% to reach Rs1,345.95 on Wednesday, the day before Yes Bank reports its third-quarter earnings. The stock has jumped 16.4% in January, compared with a 5.9% gain in the S&P BSE Bankex Index, which tracks 10 banks.

Yes Bank’s stock recently resumed its climb after plunging 18.8% over a ten-day period in early September, when it abandoned plans to raise $1 billion through a share sale. The lender cited “misinterpretation" of new rules for the so-called qualified institutional placement as the reason for the delay. It marked the first time an Indian lender had pulled a share sale since at least 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Yes Bank’s gain this month has lifted Kapoor’s net worth to $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The majority of his fortune is derived from his 11.6% stake in the lender.

He’s only the second billionaire to emerge from India’s banking industry, after Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd’s Uday Kotak, who has a $7.2 billion net worth.

The billionaire Hinduja brothers are the largest shareholders of IndusInd Bank Ltd, but their wealth was originally derived from other sources.

Jitesh Patel, a spokesman for Yes Bank, confirmed Kapoor’s stake in an e-mail and declined to comment on his net worth.

Kapoor, 59, co-founded Yes Bank with his brother-in-law, Ashok Kapur, and colleague Harkirat Singh in 2003. The following year, it became the first new Indian lender in a decade.

The trio had acquired their seed capital of $10 million each a year earlier, when they sold their stakes in Rabo India Finance, a joint venture they had formed with Rabobank Groep of the Netherlands. Previously, Kapoor had spent two years working for ANZ Grindlays and another 15 at Bank of America.

He’s been the “driving force behind the success of the bank," said Ravikant Bhat, a Mumbai-based analyst at IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd, who has a “hold" rating on Yes Bank. “Given that Yes is a new generation bank, what he has achieved in the last twelve years is quite remarkable."

Kapoor is the only founder among the three to remain at the helm of Yes Bank. Singh left after an early dispute with both his partners, and Kapur was killed in the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.

Madhu Kapur, the co-founder’s widow and sister of Kapoor’s wife, continues to have a 9.4% stake in the lender. Her net worth is valued at $800 million. The Bombay High Court ruled in 2015 that she had inherited the right to nominate directors to Yes Bank’s board. The lender contends that those rights can’t be transferred to family members and is appealing the decision. Bloomberg

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