Kotak increases target price of SBI; downgrades Canara, Union and PNB – here’s why

  • The brokerage firm has also named SBI as its most preferred stock in the PSU sector.

Vaamanaa Sethi
Published5 Jan 2024, 10:01 PM IST
Kotak increases target price of SBI to  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>760 per share
Kotak increases target price of SBI to ₹760 per share(REUTERS)

Brokerage firm Kotak Institutional Equities, in its latest report, has raised the target price of State Bank of India (SBI) to 760, while maintaining the ‘buy’ tag. The brokerage firm has also named SBI as its most preferred stock in the PSU sector.

“Given the relative strength of SBI as a franchise (demonstrated over the last credit cycle), we now recommend owning it over other PSU banks. We now recommend SBI (retain BUY) as our preferred stock within the PSU bank space,” Kotak said in its report.

Also read: Nomura predicts 12% increase in Nifty this year; what will drive the rally?

The firm further added, “ We do not think we have any evidence to change this thesis. SBI, in our view, has demonstrated that its franchise has been better than other PSU banks peers in terms of through-the-cycle credit cost, liability franchise, asset franchise as well as digital/technological enhancements. Hence, we prefer to now go back to recommending SBI over the other PSU banks.”

Meanwhile, the brokerage firm has downgraded — PNB  to ‘Reduce’, Union Bank and Canara Bank to ‘Add’. “ We maintain BUY on SBI and ADD on BOB, but downgrade Canara (ADD), Union (ADD) and PNB (REDUCE). We roll over our Fair Values to base in March 2026 BVPS while maintaining the same pecking order – SBI (~1.2X), BOB (~1.0X) and the rest (Canara, Union and PNB) at ~0.9X.,” it said.

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Over the previous month, SBI, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, and Union Bank of India have experienced notable increases ranging from 6% to 11%, outperforming the 8% uptick in the Nifty PSU bank index.

Investors have taken notice of the PSU banks' commendable reduction in slippages, accompanied by a decline in gross non-performing assets (GNPAs), contributing to their positive performance.

“Asset quality for PSU banks has seen a steady recovery in the past few years toward the end of the corporate NPA cycle and even held up well through the Covid pandemic – contrary to the expectations of many. This recovery cycle began with a declining trend in slippages, which was followed by declining GNPA ratios. We have now seen credit costs also decline as net NPA ratios for most PSU banks have converged to a level of about 1.0%. The steady decline in credit cost has driven a steady improvement in RoE closer to mid-teen levels. With increasing comfort in the outlook for asset quality and return ratios, these Tier-2 PSU bank stocks saw a sharp rally recently and their valuation multiples have now converged closer to those of SBI, which traded at a valuation premium for a few years. As a consequence, the investment thesis of favoring these inexpensive stocks has played out very well,” the report added.

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20 Yrs

First Published:5 Jan 2024, 10:01 PM IST
HomeMarketsStock MarketsKotak increases target price of SBI; downgrades Canara, Union and PNB – here’s why

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