HDFC Bank shares rise as central bank lifts curbs on digital ops - Times of India

HDFC Bank shares rise as central bank lifts curbs on digital ops – Times of India


BENGALURU: Shares of the largest private-sector lender HDFC Bank rose nearly 3% to a two-week high on Monday after the central bank lifted restrictions placed on the company’s digital operations for more than a year.
The stock has underperformed its peers and the broader market since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed curbs on HDFC Bank’s credit card and digital operations in late 2020, citing outages in its digital payment services.
The RBI allowed HDFC Bank to issue new credit cards in August 2021 but had kept the restrictions on its digital launches.
“We are fully committed to ensuring continued adherence to the highest standards of compliance with RBI recommendations,” HDFC Bank said in a statement.
The digital ban had stopped the bank’s ability to seamlessly tie up with vendors and launch digital personal loan products, Macquarie Research said in a note.
“What is more important here is the messaging from RBI. By lifting the ban, RBI is sending a signal that we are fine with the bank’s IT system and capabilities,” Macquarie said.
Nomura said while new businesses under Digital 2.0 would not visibly contribute to incremental revenue and profitability in the next few quarters, it expects the digital acquisition of customers and wallet share to improve profitability over the longer term.
Shares of HDFC Bank rose 3% in 2021, underperforming a 13.5% jump in the Nifty Bank index. The stock had declined 5.6% this year by Friday’s close, compared with a 2.6% slip in the banking index, as worries about high inflation and the Ukraine crisis pummeled investor sentiment.
Forty-two of the 45 analysts covering the stock rate it “buy” or “strong buy”, while three have “hold”. The median price target on the stock is 1,963 rupees, according to Refinitiv data.


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