Saturday, September 12, 2009

Buy Axis Bank

We believe Axis Bank’s planned equity dilution of about 17% is a precursor to marketshare gains at a faster growth rate of 8-10 percentage points above the industry over the next few years, strongly positioning the bank for the imminent revival in GDP growth from early FY2011E onwards. This dilution will result in book value accretion of about Rs 94 per share (25% increase over pre-dilution estimates), with a reasonable post-dilution leverage of 12x, average RoEs of about 16% over FY2010-11E and EPS dilution of about 7.5% in FY2011E. Amongst factors that drive competitive advantage, steady branch expansion, comprehensive product range and channel presence are driving consistent CASA marketshare gains (increased fourfold since FY2003).

Moreover, diverse fee income streams, including cash management, syndication, bond underwriting, wealth management and cards, apart from the traditional CEB and Fx income, contribute a meaningful 2% of average assets. At the CMP, the stock is trading at attractive valuations of 2.0x FY2011E ABV (post-dilution). Post-dilution valuations imply an almost 30% discount to HDFC Bank, despite similar return ratios over FY2010-11E. We maintain a Buy on the stock with a 12-month Target Price of Rs 1,106.