PNB Housing Finance hits new low after CARE places rating on watch

Shares of PNB Housing Finance (PNBHFL) hit a new low of Rs 683, down 4 per cent, in intra-day trade on Thursday after CARE Ratings placed the company’s ratings on "watch". The stock has fallen 12 per cent in the past two trading days on the BSE with concerns over raising money to maintain comfortable capital adequacy and gearing level.

The stock was trading at its lowest level since it listed on the bourses on November 7, 2016. In the last month, it has fallen 26 per cent, as compared to a 0.11 per cent rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex.

“This is important in view of the increasing share of corporate loan book in PNBHFL’s total loan portfolio and the consequent vulnerability arising out of weakness in real estate sector. Also, the impact of the stake sale announced by Punjab National Bank (PNB; promoter of PNBHFL) in PNBHFL is to be seen,” CARE Rating said in a statement.

The ratings agency, however, said it would continue to monitor the developments and would take up the review of the rating as and when there is further clarity on the situation.

"Overall, Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) with focus on retail housing finance are expected to maintain adequate profitability on the back of healthy business growth and low credit costs. Weakness, however, in credit profile of builder / corporate loans of HFCs, rising competition and the resultant possible dilution in credit underwriting norms, and long-term funding are the key challenges for the sector," the agency said.

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