IDFC First becomes 10th most valuable bank in India

IDFC First Bank, a private sector lender, has achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the 10th most valuable bank in India by market capitalization (MCap). The bank has overtaken two public sector banks, Union Bank of India and Canara Bank, in terms of valuation as of September 5, 2023.

According to BSE data, IDFC First Bank has an market capitalization of Rs 65,325 crore, while Union Bank of India and Canara Bank have market capitalization of Rs 65,251 crore and Rs 61,081.77 crore, respectively. The top three banks in the list are HDFC Bank (Rs 12 lakh crore), ICICI Bank (Rs 6.77 lakh crore), and State Bank of India (Rs 5.14 lakh crore). The other banks in the top 10 are Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bank of Baroda, and IDBI Bank.

Top 10 Banks by Market cap
Top 10 Banks by Market cap

A brief history of IDFC First Bank

IDFC First Bank was established in 2018 as a result of the merger of IDFC Bank and Capital First, two non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) that specialized in infrastructure financing and consumer lending respectively. The merger aimed to create a diversified and well-balanced portfolio of assets and liabilities, as well as to leverage the complementary strengths of both entities.The bank has a strong presence in digital banking, personal loans, credit cards, and microfinance.

The bank’s vision is to be a “customer-centric bank that offers differentiated products and services using technology as a key differentiator”. The bank’s mission is to “touch millions of lives and help them achieve their aspirations”. The bank’s core values are integrity, transparency, customer focus, collaboration, and innovation.

The bank’s chairman is Rajiv Lal, who was the founder MD and CEO of IDFC Bank. The bank’s MD and CEO is V Vaidyanathan, who was the founder chairman and MD of Capital First. The bank has a network of 576 branches, 2,264 ATMs, and 562 rural business correspondent centres across India. The bank serves over 10 million customers across various segments such as retail, corporate, rural, and microfinance.

Why is IDFC First Bank share rising

IDFC First Bank share price rising
IDFC First Bank share price rising

IDFC First Bank shares have been on a stellar run this year, rising by 67 percent so far. The bank’s share price hit a record high of Rs 100.7 on September 5, extending the rally for the fifth consecutive session. The bank’s shares have outperformed all other listed banks, both private and public, in 2023.

The main factors behind the bullish sentiment in IDFC First Bank shares are:

  1. The expected merger with its parent company IDFC, which will simplify the corporate structure and enhance shareholder value.
  2. The inclusion of the bank in the MSCI Global Standard Index from September 1, which will attract more foreign institutional investors to the bank. Analysts estimate that the index inclusion will bring in $170-180 million in investments to the bank.
  3. The purchase of 17.1 crore shares or 2.58 percent stake in the bank by Rajiv Jain of GQG Partners, a global investment management firm, for about Rs 1,527 crore on September. This shows the confidence of a reputed investor in the bank’s growth prospects.

IDFC First Bank June quarterly results

IDFC First Bank has reported a strong performance in the June quarter of FY24, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns. The bank has shown improvement in various metrics such as net interest income (NII), net profit, asset quality, net interest margin (NIM), return on assets (RoA), and return on equity (RoE).

Here are some highlights of the bank’s June quarter results :

  • The NII, which is the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew by nearly 36 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,560 crore1.
  • The net profit increased by over 61% year-on-year to Rs 765 crore1.
  • The asset quality improved as the gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio declined to 3.24% from 4.15 percent a year ago and the net NPA ratio dropped to 1.24 percent from 1.97 percent a year ago.
  • The NIM, which is a measure of profitability and efficiency, stood at a robust 5.27 percent.
  • The RoA and RoE improved to 1.25 percent and 11.78 percent from 0.97 percent and 8.96 percent, respectively.

What are the challenges and opportunities for IDFC First Bank

The Challenges

IDFC First Bank has shown remarkable resilience and growth despite the challenging market conditions and competition from other banks. However, the bank still faces some challenges that need to be addressed.

One of them is the high cost-to-income ratio, which stood at 71 percent in Q1 FY24 and has remained elevated for more than two years. This ratio indicates how efficiently the bank manages its operating expenses relative to its income. A lower ratio means higher efficiency and profitability. The bank needs to reduce its operating expenses and increase its income to improve this ratio.

Another challenge is the high provisioning requirement, which increased by 55 percent year-on-year to Rs 603 crore in Q1 FY24. This indicates that the bank has to set aside more money to cover potential losses from bad loans or contingencies. The bank needs to maintain adequate capital adequacy and liquidity to meet this requirement.

The Opportunities

On the other hand, IDFC First Bank also has many opportunities to leverage its strengths and expand its business.

One of them is the growing demand for retail banking services and products, especially from the under-served and unbanked segments of the population. The bank has a strong focus on these segments and can offer them customized and affordable solutions.

Another opportunity is the increasing adoption of digital banking and fintech platforms, which offer convenience, speed, and security to the customers. The bank has a robust digital banking infrastructure and a wide range of fintech partnerships that can help it attract and retain more customers.

The bank’s CEO, V Vaidyanathan, has expressed confidence in the bank’s ability to achieve higher growth and profitability in the future. He has also said that the bank will balance its growth and profitability objectives and will not compromise on its asset quality or customer service.

IDFC First Bank has emerged as one of the most valuable banks in India, thanks to its strong performance and growth potential. The bank has a clear vision and strategy to become a leading customer-centric bank in the country. The bank has also demonstrated its resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges and opportunities. The bank’s shareholders and customers can expect more value creation and satisfaction from the bank in the coming years.

IDFC First Bank is a success story of transformation, innovation, and growth. The bank has demonstrated its ability to overcome challenges and create value for its stakeholders. The bank has set a new benchmark for excellence and performance in the Indian banking industry.

Leave a comment