ICICI Bank dips 2% in an otherwise firm market post March quarter results

The stock opened 2 per cent higher at Rs 345 on the BSE, but erased gains later
Shares of ICICI Bank slipped 2 per cent to Rs 330.90 apiece on the BSE on Monday after the private sector lender reported an 82 per cent jump in pre-tax profit and a 26 per cent rise in net profit in the March quarter (Q4FY20), missing Street estimates on the back of higher provisioning for the coronavirus pandemic.

The stock opened 2 per cent higher at Rs 345 on the BSE, but erased gains later. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 1.4 per cent or 453 points at 32,095.

In the past on week, ICICI Bank has underperformed the market by falling 10 per cent, as against a 5 per cent decline in the benchmark index. It has slipped 36 per cent, as compared to 22 per cent fall in the Sensex in the past three months.

The bank’s pre-tax profit stood at Rs 1,423 crore as opposed to Rs 782 crore in Q4FY19, while net profit was Rs 1,221 crore against Rs 969 crore. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had estimated a net profit of Rs 3,510 crore. However, excluding coronavirus-related provisions, the bank’s profit after tax would have been Rs 3,260 crore.

The bank has created higher than the required provisions toward coronavirus, at Rs 2,725 crore, which is well above the regulatory requirement of Rs 600 crore. On the upside, operating performance remains strong, supported by robust net interest income (NII) at 17 per cent year on year, despite higher tax refunds in 4QFY19. Net interest margin stood at 3.87 per cent in Q4FY20 compared to 3.77 per cent in Q3FY20 and 3.72 per cent in Q4FY19.

On the asset quality front, slippages remained elevated, led by one healthcare and one oil trading account, although higher writeoffs have led to GNPA improvement.

Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) declined to 5.53 per cent in Q4FY20 from 6.70 per cent in Q4FY19 and 5.95 per cent in Q3FY20. Similarly, net NPAs declined to 1.41 per cent in the reporting quarter from 2.06 per cent in Q4FY19 and 1.49 per cent in Q3FY20. The bank reported slippages of Rs 5,300 crore, higher than Q3FY20’s figure of Rs 4,300 crore.

Motilal Oswal Securities expect loan growth to moderate given the weak macro environment, weighed by Covid-19 outbreak. The 'BB and below' rated pool of assets is likely to increase, while a high share of loans under moratorium would result in elevated slippages over FY21E. Around 32 per cent of the bank's borrowers have opted for moratorium provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

"As a prudent measure, the bank has made additional provisions of Rs 2,720 crore toward Covid-19-related stress. Furthermore, lower exposure to the SME segment (3.5 per cent of loans) and high granularity in the BB and below book provides some comfort," the brokerage firm said results update.

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