Buy HDFC Bank, target Rs 2,420: Anand Rathi

HDFC Bank is an Indian banking and financial services company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra and has a presence in Bahrain,

Hong Kong and Dubai. HDFC Bank is India’s largest private sector lender by assets.

HDFC Bank provides a number of products and services including wholesale banking, retail banking, treasury, auto loans, two wheeler loans,

personal loans, loans against property, consumer durable loan, lifestyle loan and credit cards.

HDFC Bank reported steady Q2FY19 operational performance. NIM expanded ~10 bps QoQ and was flat YoY at 4.3%. Core fee income growth

at 26% YoY continued to remain strong deriving strength from retail fees including cards, third-party insurance, other retail and cash management.

Bank has continued to gain market share in key businesses led by digital sourcing and deeper penetration improving product delivery and

cost control which has led the bank to reach historic low C/I of 39.9% in Q2FY19.

HDFC Bank has raised Rs240bn of fresh equity in H1FY19, which will support its loan growth in the coming years.
Further, we expect HDFC Bank to be a major gainer of the current crisis in the NBFC space as it has best-in-class liability franchises along with

superior customer outreach across business segments.
Backed by the robust underwriting skills & prudence and the consistent track record of growth and profitability, HDFC Bank is our top pick

amongst the private sector banks.
At CMP the stock is trading at 3.8x FY19E book value and 3.1x FY20E book value. We recommend buy with a target price of Rs 2,420 per share.


Banks can’t use coercive methods to recover agricultural loans: HD Kumaraswamy

HD ​​Kumaraswamy
HD Kumaraswamy warned banks that his government won’t ignore the collection of post-dated cheques (PDCs) from farmers for agricultural loans.

BENGALURU: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy issued a warning to banks about using coercive methods to recover agricultural loans amid statewide protests against Axis Bank, which has filed cheque-bounce cases against farmers.

“What Axis Bank has tried to do is to convert civil liability on the part of farmers into criminal liability and intimidate farmers–that is not acceptable,” the chief minister told ET. “The bank has issued many tractor loans, which come under the agriculture lending portfolio and collected post-dated cheques.”

The chief minister said he wasn’t against lawful recovery proceedings but said the lender had sought to bully farmers. A court in Kolkata, where the cases were filed, has issued arrest warrants in 135 such instances.

The lender is working with the state government to sort things out amicably, said Sadashiva Mallya, regional branch banking head, south, at Axis Bank. The bank won’t withdraw the cases but will take steps to transfer them to Karnataka from Kolkata, he said.

The Belgaum farmers had taken loans five years ago against blank cheques. These were presented when the farmers defaulted, leading to the cheques bouncing for want of funds.

The bank subsequently filed the cheque bounce cases in a Kolkata court, which issued arrest warrants against the farmers. “When the farmers are in Belgaum, where is the need to file cases in a Kolkata court?” said the chief minister. “This is because the Axis Bank’s legal team sits in Kolkata, so they have filed the case there.”

Kumaraswamy warned banks that his government won’t ignore the collection of post-dated cheques (PDCs) from farmers for agricultural loans. The government, he told ET, will deal with such actions and write to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as these are unlawful and amount to violation of guidelines.

He called for a national debate on the methods adopted by private banks to recover dues from farmers in the light of the latest developments. “I appeal to farmers not to panic and leave their villages,” the chief minister said. “I have told the Belgaum deputy commissioner and the SP (superintendent of police) not to arrest any farmer. The deputy commissioner is holding a meeting on November 7 with bank officials and farmers.”

Farmers’ groups led by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) held demonstrations outside Axis Bank branches in the state, forcing closures in Haveri district.


8 Bank Officials, Harshad Mehta’s Brother, Acquitted In SBI Fraud Case

8 Bank Officials, Harshad Mehta's Brother, Acquitted In SBI Fraud Case

A Mumbai court has acquitted nine people, including Ashwin Mehta, brother of 1992 securities scam kingpin Harshad Mehta, in a case of duping the State Bank of India (SBI) to the tune of Rs. 105 crore.

Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, who presides over the special court set up for cases related to the 1992 securities scam, said in her judgement last week that there was no hesitation in holding that that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Ashwin Mehta was a constituted attorney of Harshad Mehta and also one of the stock brokers in his brother’s firms.

Apart from Ashwin Mehta, those acquitted are Rama Sitharaman, officer in-charge of securities division of the SBI, and seven other officials — Bhushan Raut, C Ravi Kumar, S Suresh Babu, P Muralidharan, Ashok Agarwal, Janardhan Bandhopadhyay and Shyam Sundar Gupta.

According to the prosecution, the bank’s officials in collusion with the Mehta brothers entered into a conspiracy to cheat SBI Caps, the investment banking branch of the country’s largest lender, to the tune of Rs. 105 crore in the sale and purchase transactions of securities from 1991 to 1992.

SBI Caps routed all 24 transactions via Harshad Mehta and allegedly suffered a loss, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the prosecuting agency in the case.

The case against prime accused Harshad Mehta was ‘abated’ after he died in 2001.

The CBI claimed the fund diversion could not have taken place without the knowledge of the accused bank officers.

The court, however, accepted the defence arguments that the funds were diverted from the main branch of the bank and hence, the case against the accused officers, who were in the securities division, could not be accepted.

“In light of the various gaps and missing links left open by the prosecution, may be on account of death of Harshad Mehta and the discharge of many accused in the case from time to time, the fact remains that the charge of conspiracy could not be proved,” the court said.


The court also noted that there was a major lacuna in the sanction given to prosecute the officials under the Prevention of Corruption Act.