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ICICI Bank stock trades lower even as bank denies Sandeep Bakhshi's exit

ICICI Bank stock price: ICICI Bank "categorically denied" reports regarding MD Sandeep Bakhshi allegedly expressing willingness to leave his position

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

SI Reporter New Delhi

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Shares of ICICI Bank were trading with a negative bias on Thursday even as the lender clarified on Managing Director Sandeep Bakhsh's likely exit. 

At 10:45 AM, the stock was trading 0.4 per cent lower at Rs 1,147.4 per share, after hitting an intraday low of Rs 1,138 (down 1 per cent). By comparison, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.33 per cent.

In an exchange filing, ICICI Bank "categorically denied" reports regarding ICICI Bank MD allegedly expressing willingness to leave his position due to personal reasons. READ MORE

"This information is figment of imagination and therefore, completely baseless and misleading. It appears that this rumour is being spread with an ulterior motive and malicious intent in order to harm the Bank and its stakeholders," the statement added.

According to a report in The Morning Context, Sandeep Bakhshi indicated that he wanted to be relieved as managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank,

"He has some personal emergency. That is why he wants to step down. But the Reserve Bank of India is dead set against him stepping down. Rather, it is all for him to continue at the helm of the bank for as long as possible," the report said citing sources.

The central bank , the report said, has suggested that he work remotely if the need arises, and requested him not to step down.

Sandeep Bakhshi took the reins over at ICICI Bank in 2018, after the resignation of his predecessor, Chanda Kochhar, amid allegations of financial irregularities. He was  re-appointed as the managing director of the bank in September 2023.

Bakhshi has been lauded for steering a remarkable turnaround of ICICI Bank with the lender consistently delivering stellar financial results.

In the recently concluded March quarter (Q4FY24), ICICI Bank posted net profit of Rs 10,707 crore, registering a growth of 17 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y). Its net interest income (NII) increased by 8 per cent Y-o-Y to Rs 19,093 crore, with net interest margin at 4.4 per cent vs 4.43 per cent Q-o-Q.

NII was aided by loan growth of 3 per cent Q-o-Q and 16 per cent Y-o-Y with deposits up 6 per cent Q-o-Q and 20 per cent Y-o-Y.

The bank's loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) stood at 83.8 per cent versus 86.6 per cent Q-o-Q.

Post the development, the stock hit a record high of Rs 1,169 per share, taking the bank's market capitalisation beyond the Rs 8-trillion-mark for the first time.

"ICICI Bank remains the most consistent in delivering core earnings, granular growth, and moderating opex growth ahead of peers. With an early-mover advantage in leveraging technology for growth and risk management, we view ICICI Bank as less vulnerable to regulatory lapses than peers," analysts at Nuvama Institutional Equities said in their result review report. READ REVIEW HERE

JM Financial concurred and said that ICICI Bank firmly remains on a path to deliver 2.3 per cent/18.5 per cent average RoA/ RoE over FY25-26, aided by asset quality being in good shape, continued growth momentum while margins expected to moderate slightly.

"ICICI bank has continued to deliver the best-in-class return profile among its larger private peers which will help it retain its valuation premium," the brokerage added. 

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First Published: May 02 2024 | 11:11 AM IST

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