May 16, 2018 / 5:03 AM / a year ago

BUZZ-India's Punjab National Bank slumps on record qtrly loss, growth worries

** Punjab National Bank’s shares fall as much as 13.7 pct to 74.15 rupees, in their biggest intraday pct drop since Feb 27, after lender said the amount of fraud rose by $204 mln to $1.97 bln

** India’s second-biggest state-run bank on Tuesday reported qtrly loss of $1.98 bln, the biggest ever by a domestic lender, as it booked provisions to cover massive fraud

** PNB, the fourth-biggest Indian lender, disclosed in Feb that two jewellery groups defrauded it of more than $2 bln

** Credit Suisse downgrades stock to “neutral”, reduces PT to 88 rupees from 188 rupees; says co could incur losses even in FY19

** Jefferies cuts PT to 80 rupees from 110 rupees; analysts see downside risk on higher impairments, credit costs

** Surging bad debts in sector might weaken PNB’s capital reserves, damaging its growth prospects - analysts

** Over 50.3 mln shares change hands, compared with the 30-day moving avg of 20 mln shares

** Twelve of 34 brokerages covering the stock rate it “hold”, 11 “buy” or higher and 11 “sell” or lower; median PT 160 rupees - Thomson Reuters data

** Up to Tuesday’s close, stock had fallen 49.9 pct this year, compared with 24.5 pct decline in Nifty PSU Bank index

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