The negative sentiment towards Axis Bank is caused by the "mismanagement of expectations" as CEO Amitabh Chaudhry over-promised and did not deliver, said Suresh Ganapathy, banking analyst, Macquarie Capital Securities.
"The bank, compared to other private sector banks, has a large SME portfolio which is a bit more vulnerable in the current economic slowdown. Even in some of the latest names which are supposed to be stressed, Axis Bank invariably has exposure to most of them. Some of these names were not even classified as a watch list," said Ganapathy in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
“Expectations were running high, the 18 percent RoE target looks far-fetched, capital raising was announced anywhere between $1.5-2 billion. So, it was a confluence of a whole lot of negative factors that resulted in the stock underperforming and consequently the investors have not taken it well,” he added.
On HDFC Bank, Ganapathy said, “The bigger call is the macro call which doesn’t seem to be supporting with the economic growth slowing down. So foreign investors were arguing that HDFC Bank, being a large part of the system, their growth levels should also come down though they would be growing much faster than the system growth levels.”
Talking about 30-day delinquencies, he said, “Our conversations with ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank say that worries over job losses and retail asset quality is overblown.” "Although there is a pickup in 30-day delinquencies, people are still honouring commitment with 90-days."
So, there could be some cyclical variations in retail NPLs but don’t see a situation like 2008 repeating in the retail cycle this time around, said Ganapathy.