OCBC Bank - Phillip Securities 2021-03-01: Emerging With Capital Strength


OCBC Bank - Emerging With Capital Strength

  • OCBC (SGX:O39)'s FY20 earnings of S$3.69bn beat our expectation by 27% on lower-than-expected credit costs and higher non-interest income.
  • General Provisions (GP) fell to S$48mn for a 7bp credit cost, signalling the end of the crisis.
  • Strong CET-1 of 15.2% to support pre-COVID dividend of S$0.56 per year once restrictions are lifted.
  • Upgrade OCBC to BUY from NEUTRAL with higher GGM target price of S$13.65, up from S$9.68.

The Positives

Stable interest margins

  • NIM improved 2bps q-o-q from 1.54-1.56% on better funding-cost management. Improved margins lifted NII by 1% q-o-q. That said, competitive lending limited room for asset repricing, which could bring down FY21e NIM to 1.50-1.55%.

Low General Provisions (GPs)

  • Total allowances of S$285mn were made up of S$237mn in (specific provisions) SPs and S$48mn in (general provisions) GPs. Its 7bp credit cost signalled the end of the credit crisis. Some of the SPs that the bank has to recognise in FY21e as a result of asset-quality deterioration can be migrated from S$864mn of GPs already expensed in FY20.
  • Loans under moratorium fell from S$23.8bn in September 2020 to S$5.7bn, or 2% of the total in January. Of these, 91% were secured. Clarity on asset quality gives confidence in built-up reserves. These consist of an excess of S$405mn in management overlays and S$244mn of macroeconomic variables.

Strong capital position

  • CET-1 improved from 14.4% to 15.2% q-o-q. Wing Hang Bank’s migration to internal ratings contributed to 0.5% of the improvement. Capital strength enabled OCBC to resume pre-COVID-19 dividend of S$0.56 per year and opens up possibilities of dividend growth once MAS restrictions are lifted.
  • The bank has also removed discounts to scrip dividends for distribution of S$0.159 for 2H20.

The Negative

Weak loan growth

  • Loans grew 1% y-o-y from S$264bn to S$267bn in a challenging environment. Nevertheless, with improved business confidence and consumer sentiment as the economy recovers, we are confident of mid-single-digit loan growth, as guided by the bank.


Economic recovery to accelerate in 2H21

  • OCBC expects a strong recovery by 2H21. Improved consumer confidence is expected to lift business sentiment.
  • Existing geopolitical tensions are also not expected to worsen, which should pave the way for strong business flows in the region. This would benefit loan growth and fee income.

Investment Action

Upgrade OCBC to BUY with higher GGM target price of S$13.65, up from S$9.68

Tay Wee Kuang Phillip Securities Research | https://www.stocksbnb.com/ 2021-03-01
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY UPGRADE NEUTRAL 13.65 UP 9.680