The shares of Karnataka Bank Ltd. (KBL) hit their fresh 52-week high of Rs 149.90 in the early hours of trading on 23 November. So far in the calendar year 2022, the stock has rallied 140% in the last six months, giving multi-bagger returns to its shareholders. The shares of the Mangaluru-based bank closed at Rs 143 a piece, marginally down 0.83% for the day.

Rs 1,00,000 invested in the shares of Karnataka Bank at the start of the year would have become Rs 2,40,000 by now. This would have resulted in multi-bagger gains of Rs 1,40,000 to the investors.

This re-rating of the banking stocks has been shared across all the public sector and some private sector banks. Established in 1924, Karnataka Bank is a scheduled commercial private sector bank.

This sharp increase in stock comes on the heels of loan book growth, asset quality improvement, expansion in net interest margin (NIM) and a reduction in gross/net NPAs. 

For the second quarter ending September 2023, KBL’s NIM grew by 41 basis points (bps) to 3.56%. Its total deposits increased by 6.13% year on year (YoY) while advances grew by 10.18%. The GNPA was down to 3.35% or 116 bps YoY whereas NNPA improved by 113 bps to touch a low of 1.72%. The bank had its best quarter with highest-ever PAT in Q2FY23.

On the future outlook, the analysts at Axis Securities commented, “The management expects CASA to reach a minimum of 35% by Mar’23 and will further increase it to 38-40% in the next couple of years. The management’s focus to increase the CASA ratio, as well as retail TD in the borrowing mix, would aid the bank in lowering its cost of funds which should be positive for the sustainability of NIMs along with strong growth momentum in advances.”

Written by: Vikalp Mishra


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