Category Archives: Valuations

Compounding Interest Simplified

Compounding Interest


Analyzing banking sector shares

What is a bank?

A bank is essentially a financial institution that acts as an intermediary between those who need money and those who have an excess of it. Banks accept deposits from companies and the general public and make loans to companies and individuals who need money. Banks offer interest on the deposits made with it and charge interest on the loans lent out. The rate of interest offered on deposits is less than the interest charged on loans lent out. The difference between these interests is the main source of income for a bank. Apart from depositors’ money, a bank has access to other sources of funds like borrowing from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), from corporate bodies and from foreign sources.

Analyzing banking sector shares in India

Analyzing banking sector shares in India

RBI (Reserve Bank of India)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is a government body that oversees the banking system in India and is in charge of regulating the affairs of the banks.

The banking sector in India

Banking is probably the most important sector in any country. A country cannot grow without a healthy and robust banking sector. Loans (credit) are the lifeblood of any economy. Companies need loans to take up new projects, to bridge short term liquidity gaps and for working capital. People need loans to buy houses, cars, educate their children and a myriad of other things. Some of the best paid executives in the world are bankers.

The banking sector in India is well regulated by the RBI and is considered to be fairly conservative compared to its global peers. India has 2 categories of banks – Public sector banks and Private sector banks. It is possible to invest in the shares of both private sector and public sector banks as most of the major banks’ shares trade on the BSE and NSE.

Types of banks

Public sector banks (e.g. SBI, Andhra Bank) are owned at least partially by the Government of India. They tend to be conservative and have higher needs for documentation and collateral for making loans. Some people have the opinion that they are more slow and bureaucratic in their style of functioning and are more difficult for individuals to do business with.

Private banks are purely privately owned. They tend to be more aggressive and give out loans a little more easily than public sector banks. Some people feel that private sector banks are more focussed on sales than public sector banks and tend to close deals faster.

Factors that affect bank shares

As always, the key factors to consider while evaluating any company’s shares are growth potential, profitability and quality of management. The following factors tend to influence the growth and profitability of banks. The operations and share prices of all banks are influenced by these factors.

1. Interest Rates

( In general, the lower the interest rates, the better for the bank’s share price)

in credit uptake. The inability of a bank to deploy loans in turn effect its

Definition: The bank rate is the rate at which RBI lends funds to commercial banks.

Source: RBI website


When the RBI increases the Bank Rate, the rate at which banks borrow funds increases. An increase in bank rate is usually accompanied by a simultaneous increase in deposit rates (to encourage customers to deposit more cash as deposits are a cheaper source of funds than borrowing) and lending rates (The increase cost of borrowing is passed onto debtors of the bank).

One should be careful when the prevailing bank rates are high because an increase in bank rate beyond a certain point can have negative effects like:

A. Higher NPAs:

When a customer defaults on a loan (interest is outstanding for more than 90 days), the bank writes off the loans from its books and the loan is termed as a Non-Performing Asset (NPA). An increase in the bank rate leads to an increase in interest borne by the borrower which in turn can lead to an increase in loan defaults.

B. Credit Crunch:

At high interest rates, banks might find it tough to borrow which can lead to a credit crunch (reduction in availability of loans) and in turn hurt general lending operations of the bank.

C. Decrease in credit uptake:

The increased rates discourage borrowers from taking fresh loans, thus leading to a decrease profitability as interest on loans is a major source of income for a bank.

2. Net Interest Margin

(The higher the Net Interest Margin of a bank, the better for its share price)


Net interest margin is the percentage difference between income generated from loans made by the bank and the interest paid on loans taken by the bank. It is expressed as a percentage of what the financial institution earns on loans and other assets in a time period minus the interest paid on borrowed funds divided by the average amount of the assets on which it earned income in that time period (the average earning assets).

Source: Footnotes of company financials and conference calls.


Net interest margin (NIM) is an indicator of the ability of a bank to generate returns. Higher the NIM, the more profit a bank can earn from a given pool of funds. There is no benchmark number which is considered as an ideal level to maintain. While assessing NIM, an investor should do a relative comparison of NIMs of different banks to get an idea of how good or bad a given bank is performing.

3. Provisions and Non-Performing Assets (NPA)

(The lower NPAs for a bank, the better for its share price)


When a bank does not expect a customer to repay the loan, it sets aside a certain sum of money for the expected loss. This is known as a provision. When a customer defaults on a loan (interest is outstanding or more than 90 days), the bank writes it off from its books and the loan is termed as a Non-Performing Asset (NPA).There are 2 forms of NPAs:-

Gross NPA:

The amount outstanding against the borrowers account (with the outstanding interest)

Net NPA:

Gross NPA – Provisions made on the loan – Recoveries made on the loan – other adjustments


Profit and Loss statement


Provisions and NPAs are a reflection of the healthiness of a bank’s loan portfolio book. Higher ratio reflects rising bad quality of loans. Generally private banks have higher ratio of provisions and NPAs as compared to public banks because

  1. Private banks are known be more aggressive than public banks while dispersing loans
  2. Private banks charge a higher rate of interest as compared to public banks. Thus, the chances of interest/ loan defaults are higher.

Hence it would be a good idea to avoid comparing public banks versus private banks. Also amongst the two NPAs- Gross NPA vs Net NPA, give more weightage to Gross NPAs.

4. Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) )

(The higher the CAR of a bank, the better for the its shareprice)


Capital adequacy ratios are a measure of the amount of a bank’s capital expressed as a percentage of its risky loans. It is a measure of how well capitalized a bank is, i.e. how easily it can withstand losses. Applying minimum capital adequacy ratios serves to protect depositors and improve the stability and efficiency of the financial system. The RBI specifies the minimum capital adequacy ratios that all banks have to maintain. As investors, we have to expect more than just the minimum.

There are 2 types of CAR:

Tier-I Capital Ratio: The level at which a bank can absorb losses without being required to cease trading.

Tier-II Capital Ratio: The level at which a bank can absorb losses in the event of a winding-up. It provides a lesser degree of protection to depositors, e.g. subordinated debt.


Profit and Loss statement


The higher the CAR, the safer are the depositors’ funds. Considering that banks have been expanding their operations very aggressively, it is important to keep an eye out for whether they are adequately capitalized. A bank which maintains its CAR a few percentage points above the prescribed level is considered safe.

5. CASA Ratio

(The higher the CASA ratio of a bank, the better for its share price)


This is the ratio of current account and savings account deposits to the total deposit base of the bank.


Footnotes of company financials and conference calls.


The bank pays out much lower interest rates on savings accounts and current accounts than other types of deposits such as fixed deposits. Raising money this way is also cheaper than loans from other sources like RBI, money market or other banks. Hence for a given sum of money, higher the ratio more profitable is the bank.

6. Number of branches

(The more branches a bank has, the bigger and better it is)

The greater the number of branches, the better connected the bank is to its customers. This gives it a:

  1. Better ability to generate funds via deposits.
  2. Better ability to disperse loans.


India banks: Annual Report analysis Source: IRIS (13-JUN-13)

Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities has analyzed annual reports of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank for relative movement in non-performing loan buckets and trends in excess ‘specific’ provisions on the books, ALM gaps, loans and deposit movements in various maturity buckets, trends in priority sector lending, working capital loans and contingent liability trends. Following are the key highlight from Nomura’s analysis:

> Private sector banks have a gdreater proportion of GNPL in the doubtful/loss buckets compared with PSU banks. Bank of Baroda has seen a sharp increase in the proportion of its sub-standard assets in FY12- the percentage of sub-standard loans within the GNPL book increasing from 34.8% in FY11 to 59.6% in FY12. In FY13, there has not been much ageing of this sub-standard loan book with the proportion increasing marginally to 61.6%. Within private sector banks, ICICI Bank had a relatively better ‘aged’ GNPL book as in FY13.

> In terms of excess ‘specific’ provisions carried on the balance sheet, Yes Bank leads the pack with excess ‘specific’ provisions of 55% over what is required under IRAC norms while PSU banks like Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) have low ”excess specific provisions” of 11.9% and 3.9%, respectively.

> It also looks at what proportion of sub-standard and doubtful assets (D-1 and D-2 categories) have been covered by provisions. The rationale behind this analysis is – since D-3 and loss categories should carry a mandated 100% provision, it analyzes how much provision cover is left for sub-standard and D-1 & D-2 assets. No surprises here – private banks have high provision cover (ranging from ICICI Bank at 57.5% to Yes Bank at 91.8%) while BoB and PNB have 43.9% and 38.2% coverage, respectively.

> Asset-liability management: ICICI Bank has seen a sharp improvement in its deposit structure in FY13 due to growth in core CASA and retail term deposits. Deposits in 3-5 year and 5 years and beyond maturity buckets have registered a growth of 163% and 47%, respectively. This improvement in deposit structure enabled ICICI Bank to reduce its ALM gap from 3 months in FY12 to a negative 1 month in FY13. This should ensure margin stability for the bank in the year ahead, in its view.

> On priority sector lending mandate: Only HDFC Bank and IIB have managed to meet their priority sector loan mandates solely through their loan books, while it sees the biggest shortfall for Yes Bank due to the sharp increase in its loan book in FY11 and also the regulatory changes around securitization through the assignment route impacting pool buyouts.

Disclaimer: IRIS has taken due care and caution in compilation of data for its web site. Information has been obtained by IRIS from sources which it considers reliable. However, IRIS does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. IRIS especially states that it has no financial liability whatsoever to any user on account of the use of information provided on its website.


“Fundamental Analysis”

Having a basic knowledge of fundamental analysis will give you a better foundation for your investment decisions. Understand why you should use it when investing. You will learn how to find relevant information in earning reports from the listed companies.

Fundamental analysis is critical component in stock analysis. It is quite accessible, extremely valuable and you actually don’t need a finance degree to get a basic understanding of it. The problem of fundamental analysis is however that it can very easily get quite complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

What is a Fundamental Analysis?

A fundamental analysis is all about getting an understanding of a company, the health of its business and its future prospects. It includes reading and analyzing annual reports and financial statements to get an understanding of the company’s comparative advantages, competitors and its market environment.

Why use fundamental analysis?
Fundamental analysis is built on the idea that the stock market may price a company wrong from time to time. Profits can be made by finding under priced stocks and waiting for the market to adjust the valuation of the company. By analyzing the financial reports from companies you will get an understanding of the value of different companies and understand the pricing in the stock market.

After analyzing these factors you have a better understanding of whether the price of the stock is undervalued or overvalued at the current market price. Fundamental analysis can also be performed on a sectors basis and in the economy as a whole.

The true value of a stock?

For a fundamental analyst, the market price of a stock tends to move towards its ‘intrinsic value’, which is the ‘true value’ of a company as calculated by its fundamentals. If the market value does not match the true value of the company, there is an investment opportunity.

Example of this is that if the current market price of a stock is lower than the intrinsic price, the investor should purchase the stock because he expects the stock price to rise and move towards its true value. Alternatively, if the current market price is above the intrinsic price, the stock is considered overbought and the investor sells the stock because he knows that the stock price will fall and move closer to its intrinsic value.

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