SRI LANKA FINANCE SECTOR

“In tough conditions Bigger the Better”

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FC Research expects finance sector to face moderately tough conditions to operate with thinning margins and new LTV regulations leading to slower and previous but moderate credit growth. Despite slow economic conditions rise in NPLs are likely to be slow amidst price appreciation in vehicle prices as bulk of the lending is attached to vehicles. We believe the larger finance companies have an advantage with lower cost of funding and large conversion levels from leases to loans which improves re-pricing abilities at times of rising interest rates. Sector Recommendation: HOLD

 

Margins to dip but Credit Growth to remain moderate: With rising interest rates and bulk of the lending attached to leases finance sector is likely to experience a dip in margins while credit growth is expected to remain moderate around 16-18% despite deceleration from 2016. New LTV regulations also likely support the slower credit in 2017E.

Upbeat second-hand market vehicle prices to support Lower NPL provisions: Despite rise interest rates and slower economic conditions FC Research expects NPL provisions of finance companies to continue to stay on the back significant price appreciations in the second hand vehicle market. Higher vehicle prices are likely to deter related borrowers from default while even if defaulted higher vehicles prices ensures finance companies of eliminating losses and recovering bad debts.

Selected larger finance companies to perform: Finance companies with better rating and larger asset base tend to have a lower cost of funding while some finance companies have already converted significant portions from loans to leases enabling them to re-price part of the assets in line with interest rates. These two conditions being satisfied enables selected finance companies specifically identified as PLC, CFIN, LFIN, COCR and LOFC to perform better in tough environment. We expect the selected companies to provide an average total return on equal weightage of c.51% during a 12 month period.

 

*Disclosure:

First Capital Group and its affiliates does not hold any shares in PLC, CFIN, LFIN, COCR, and LOFC.  Neither First Capital Group nor its affiliates have traded in the shares of PLC, CFIN, LFIN, COCR, and LOFC in the three trading days prior to this document, and will not trade in the shares of PLC, CFIN, LFIN, COCR, and LOFC for three trading days following the issue of this document

 

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This Review is prepared and issued by First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. and is based on information available in the public domain, internally developed and other sources believed to be correct. Although all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the contents of this document are accurate, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd and its Directors and employees, are not responsible for its accuracy, usefulness and reliability and disclaim liability for any loss suffered by the use of information contained herein.

First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd may act as a Broker in the investments which are the subject of this document or any related investments and may have acted on or have used the information contained in this document, or the research or analysis on which it is based, before its publication.