After its share price plummeted 13% in the last few days Yes Bank sent a mailer to all its “valued” shareholders” citing broker research reports to hold on to their dear stock even as it prepares to declare quarterly results. Is SEBI concerned at all?
In a strange move, Yes Bank encouraged its shareholders to hold on to their stocks, citing stock brokers research recommendations. This is peculiar because it is not a usual practice to write to shareholders about stock valuation, especially before a quarterly result announcement due on July 24. Since 15 July, the company’s share price has taken a beating, plummeting over 13% from Rs500 to Rs433 at the time of writing this piece after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tightened liquidity measures (which is likely to affect banks in the upcoming quarter, and beyond). The incumbent management is also involved in a nasty controversy involving the two promoter families, which has now become public. Yes Bank probably fears that its efforts to raise capital could be hampered, if its share price was to decline further. If that is so, it has surely chosen a funny way to deal with it.
The bank’s “Financial & Investor Strategy” team, whatever this means, sent a mailer to all its “valued” shareholders stating, “Despite the recent correction in the stock, leading brokerage houses have maintained their positive outlook on the stock with a strong expected growth outlook in earnings and profits.” It pointed out that “leading brokerage firms” like of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs attached “BUY” recommendations.
How much value is there in these recommendations? It is pertinent to note that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were lead managers to Yes Bank’s previous qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue, in 2010. Apart from fixating on Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley analyses (and that too in detail), the mailer goes on to mention the likes of JM Financial Institutional Securities, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Macquarie, Deutsche, all of which gave BUY ratings.
Furthermore, Yes Bank’s mailer mentioned specifics that are usually mentioned in an earnings release, clearly to boost its share price and give its “valued” shareholders a glimmer of hope. It said, “Diversity of deposits has improved significantly over the past 3 years on the back of retail deposit and CASA (current account-savings account) traction, CASA as at March 31, 2013 at 18.9%. More than 86% of deposits are from depositors contributing less than 0.20% of total deposit base individually. Yes Bank has limited concentration in deposit base. Yes Bank runs a positive interest rate gap in the short term (less than 6 months) bucket, hence with the current tightness in liquidity, increase in rates may have beneficial impact on margins.”
Yes Bank has diluted its equity base by 32.8%, since 2006. It has raised equity capital three times—Rs120 crore in December 2006 and Rs330 crore in December 2007. In January 2010, the bank raised Rs1,034 crore through a placement of shares to QIBs. In 2006, the equity base was Rs270 crore. Now it is Rs358.62 crore.
And now it has plans to hike foreign equity participation, by up to 60%, vis-a-vis global depository receipts (GDRs) or another QIP issue. In fact, in Yes Bank’s recent annual general meeting on 8 June 2013, the resolution to raise as much as $500 million was unanimously passed. In the AGM press release, Rana Kapoor, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), talked of “deepening shareholder register” and widening “investor classes” but made no mention of minority shareholders and mentioned only qualified institutional investors and domestic institutional investors.
Furthermore, the family feud has been the talk of Dalal Street of late, which has embarrassed company’s officials. The two promoter families are feuding about board seats.
Madhu Kapur, widow of late Ashok Kapur (brother-in-law of Rana Kapoor) has sought to nominate her daughter Shagun Kapur Gogia, legal heir to Ashok Kapur’s 12% stake in the bank, to the board of Yes Bank. However, the Board of Directors of Yes Bank rejected her offer. Ms Kapur then petitioned the Bombay High Court, seeking the court intervention in the case. Moreover, she also has sought the court intervention to quash appointment of three directors of the bank namely Sanjay Palve, Rajat Monga and Pralay Mondal. She also alleges that the annual general meeting held on June 8 was not conducted in a proper manner and has asked the Court to direct Yes Bank to provide minutes of meeting as well as video recordings. The Court will give the final hearing on July 29.
There are allegations, according to the Economic Times, that Rana Kapoor’s loan got waived off by Rabobank, an erstwhile strategic shareholder of Yes Bank. Ms Madhu Kapur, the widow of late co-promoter Ashok Kapur (Rana Kapur’s brother-in-law) alleged that Rabobank forced Ashok Kapur to sell off his shares to repay the loan given to him. Recently, it was reported that Rana Kapoor’s family bought a house for an extravagant Rs128 crore next to Mukesh Ambani’s Antilla, on the ritzy Altamount Road in Mumbai.
Yes Bank recently was levied Rs2 crore penalty by RBI for failing to adhere to KYC and anti-money laundering norms.
Yes Bank is among the banks that do not disclose charges in its website such as number of free transactions at other bank ATMs in India and replacement of damaged debit cards, which is in violation of RBI circular. The story can be accessed here.