update : 03/04
blog.rcfunds.com (referred to in the comment on this post) is also my website. I eventually plan to migrate this blog to that website. however my new website is still beta. I need to improve the look and feel of that website. As a result i have not publicized it, thinking no one will notice it. I guess i was wrong. Anyway, i will be posting my posts on both locations at the same time.
I had written on Allahabad bank earlier. I mentioned the following as a key risk
The biggest risk for the bank is political interference. As the majority shareholder is our government, you can never be sure what hairbrained scheme they will come up with. In the past there have been loan melas, loan writeoff etc. This has reduced in the last few years, but you never know.
Well, the risk has materialized. The FM has announced a loan waiver for small farmers to the tune of 60000 Crs. Forget about the fact that this money may never reach the farmers, a part of this money could come from PSU banks like Allahabad bank which has a 55% Government holding.
The bank has a 7000+ cr loan portfolio for the agricultre sector. The best case scenario is that the government would compensate the banks completely for this waiver, but I think that is unlikely. A probable scenario is some losses on this portfolio. A 10% loss on this portfolio would be a 20% hit to the Networth of the Bank. In addition PSU banks could get poor valuations going forward as the market will not trust that the government would not pull off a similar scheme again in the future.
This case is different from HPCL (see analysis here). In case of HPCL, the subsidy is priced into the stock. Any positive development such a moderate price hike would help the company. In case of allahabad bank, this risk is not priced into the stock.
As of now, I am not sure how this will play out. I generally do not concern myself with price movements. However a fundamental development such as the one above is different. I may be wrong on this one and this development in the short term, may not impact the company. However this is definitely a moral hazard for banks in the long run. Rural borowers may start expecting such writeoffs again in the future. Net Net, I am not interested in risking my capital to find out.
Disclosure : I have maintained a small position in the stock as the stock seemed undervalued, but not by a big margin. However I am now planning to exit the stock completely.