Post-GFC recovery has driven major financial institutions’ return to health, increasing market confidence in these “too-big-to-fail” banks. As a large-cap stock with market capitalization of ₹2.43t, State Bank of India (NSE:SBIN) falls into this category. Following the crisis, a set of reforms termed Basel III was enforced to bolster risk management, regulation, and supervision in the financial services industry. These reforms target bank level regulation and aims to improve the banking sector’s ability to absorb shocks arising from economic stress which could expose financial institutions to vulnerabilities. Operating in INR, SBIN is held to strict regulation which focus investor attention to the type and level of risk it takes on. Investors should be more cautious when it comes to financial stocks given the different type of risk to which they are exposed. Today we will analyse some bank-specific metrics and take a closer look at leverage and liquidity. Check out our latest analysis for State Bank of India
Is SBIN’s Leverage Level Appropriate?
Banks with low leverage are exposed to lower risks around their ability to repay debt. A bank’s leverage can be thought of as the amount of assets it holds compared to its own shareholders’ funds. Though banks are required to have a certain level of buffer to meet its capital requirements, State Bank of India’s leverage level of 15.39x is significantly below the appropriate ceiling of 20x. This means the bank exhibits very strong leverage management and is well-positioned to repay its debtors in the case of any adverse events since it has an appropriately high level of equity relative to the debt it has taken on to remain in business. If the bank needs to increase its debt levels to firm up its capital cushion, there is plenty of headroom to do so without deteriorating its financial position.
How Should We Measure SBIN’s Liquidity?
As I eluded to above, loans are relatively illiquid. It’s helpful to understand how much of this illiquid asset makes up the bank’s total asset. Normally, they should not exceed 70% of total assets, consistent with State Bank of India’s case with a ratio of 54.20%. At this level of loan, the bank has preserved a sensible level between maintaining liquidity and generating interest income from the loan.
What is SBIN’s Liquidity Discrepancy?
Banks operate by lending out its customers’ deposits as loans and charge a higher interest rate. These loans tend to be fixed term which means they cannot be readily realized, yet customer deposits on the liability side must be paid on-demand and in short notice. The discrepancy between loan assets and deposit liabilities threatens the bank’s financial position. If an adverse event occurs, it may not be well-placed to repay its depositors immediately. Since State Bank of India’s loan to deposit ratio of 72.01% is within the sensible margin, below than the appropriate maximum of 90%, this level positions the bank cautiously in terms of liquidity as it has not disproportionately lent out its deposits and has retained an apt level of deposits.
State Bank of India passes all of our liquidity and leverage checks which shows it is prudent in managing those factors. This gives us confidence in the operational side of the business, an important aspect to consider before investing in the stock. High liquidity and low leverage places the bank in an ideal position to repay financial liabilities in case of adverse headwinds. We’ve only touched on operational risks for SBIN in this article. But as a stock investment, there are other fundamentals you need to understand. I’ve put together three important aspects you should further examine:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SBIN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SBIN’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is SBIN worth today? Has the future growth potential already been factored into the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SBIN is currently mispriced by the market.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.