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HDFC Bank Q1 Powers Up: 5 Factors Driving 52.6% Advance Jump 

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HDFC Bank‘s recent Q1 results for the fiscal year 2024 have sparked conversation. The headline number – a massive 52.6% year-on-year jump in gross advances (loans) to Rs 24.87 lakh crore – is certainly eye-catching. But before we jump to conclusions, there’s a crucial detail to consider: the merger with HDFC Limited in July 2023. This merger significantly impacts the numbers, making direct comparisons with previous years a bit tricky.

 Source: Economic Times

                                               

Here’s a breakdown of the key factors driving the bank’s performance and what it might mean for investors.

Top 5 Factors Driving HDFC Bank’s Q1 Performance

1. Merger with HDFC Limited

HDFC Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender, merged with its parent company, HDFC Limited, the leading housing finance institution, on July 1st, 2023. This historic all-stock deal created a behemoth, becoming India’s third-largest entity by market capitalization and the world’s fourth-largest bank. The merger streamlined operations, granting HDFC Bank access to a wider pool of loan applicants and potentially lower funding costs. It also simplified the financial landscape for customers, offering a broader range of financial products under one roof.

2. Loan Growth Takes Center Stage

The headline grabber is undoubtedly the massive 52.6% year-on-year jump in HDFC Bank’s gross advances, reaching a staggering Rs 24.87 lakh crore by June 30th, 2024. However, it’s important to understand the context behind this number. This surge is largely due to the historic merger of HDFC Bank with HDFC Limited in July 2023. Excluding the impact of the merger, the actual organic growth in advances stands at a still respectable 14.9% compared to June 2023.

Let’s delve deeper into the loan portfolio breakdown:

  • Retail Loans: This segment witnessed robust growth of around Rs 18,600 crore, indicating continued demand for credit from individuals for various purposes.
  • Commercial & Rural Banking: Loans in this category saw an increase of Rs 7,200 crore, suggesting a pick-up in credit offtake from businesses and rural areas.
  • Corporate & Other Wholesale Loans: This segment witnessed a decline of Rs 26,600 crore. This could be due to various factors, such as companies opting for alternative financing options or a cautious approach to borrowing in the current economic climate.

Here’s a snapshot of how the bank has performed in both the quarters and what has been the Year-on-Year growth.

*Gross of Interbank participation certificates, bills rediscounted, and securitization
 Source: Economic Times

3. CASA Deposits:

CASA (Current Account Savings Account) deposits are a crucial source of low-cost funds for banks. While CASA deposits grew 6.2% year-on-year, a more worrisome trend is the decline compared to March 2024. The bank attributes this to “seasonal impact,” but it’s a factor to keep an eye on in future quarters.

                                              

4. Time Deposits Show Positive Signs

On a brighter note, time deposits, which typically carry higher interest rates, saw a significant increase of 37.7% year-on-year, reaching Rs 15.16 lakh crore. This suggests that investors are still comfortable parking their funds with HDFC Bank for the long term.

5. Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR): Maintaining the Buffer

The LCR is a key metric that reflects a bank’s ability to meet its short-term obligations even during stressful scenarios.  Here’s how HDFC Bank’s LCR compares across quarters: 

  • June 2024: 123%
  • March 2024: 115.17%
  • December 2023: 109.80%
  • September 2023: 120.50%

The bank’s LCR remains comfortably above the RBI’s mandated minimum of 100%. This is reassuring for investors, especially considering that a decline in LCR was one of the factors that contributed to the bank’s share price drop in January 2024.

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   Source: Economic Times

                                               

Deposit Growth: A Mixed Bag

While loan growth is impressive, the story on the deposit side is a bit more nuanced. Overall deposits rose 24.4% year-on-year to Rs 23.79 lakh crore, again reflecting the impact of the merger. Excluding the merger, deposit growth stands at a more modest 16.5% compared to June 2023.  However, there’s a concerning flat growth in deposits compared to March 2024.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has flagged this mismatch between faster loan growth and slower deposit growth. Banks need a healthy balance between assets (loans) and liabilities (deposits) to maintain financial stability.


Balancing Growth and Stability

HDFC Bank’s Q1 results showcase impressive loan growth, driven by the merger and continued demand across various segments. However, the bank needs to focus on mobilizing more deposits, particularly low-cost CASA deposits, to maintain a healthy asset-liability ratio. Balancing this growth with deposit mobilization will be crucial for HDFC Bank to maintain its financial stability and investor confidence in the long run. 

What Does it Mean for Investors?

HDFC Bank’s Q1 results present a mixed picture. The significant jump in gross advances is impressive, but it’s largely due to the merger. The organic growth in retail and commercial lending is encouraging, but the decline in corporate loans raises questions. The sluggish deposit growth, particularly CASA deposits, is also a concern. 

However, the strong LCR ratio provides some comfort regarding the bank’s liquidity position. Overall, investors should consider these factors and future growth projections before making investment decisions.

The key takeaway? 

HDFC Bank’s Q1 results highlight the impact of the merger and the need to monitor organic growth across different loan segments. While there are positive signs, the bank needs to address deposit growth, particularly CASA, to ensure a more balanced and sustainable future.  

Looking ahead, here are some key questions for HDFC Bank:

* Can they accelerate deposit growth, particularly CASA deposits?

* How will they manage credit growth while ensuring profitability?

* Will the bank continue to maintain a healthy LCR?

The answers to these questions will significantly impact HDFC Bank’s performance in the coming quarters. 

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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