January 9, 2019 / 6:26 AM / 4 months ago

BUZZ-Morgan Stanley raises ICICI Bank PT on improving asset quality

** Morgan Stanley raises price target on ICICI Bank Ltd’s stock to 510 rupees from 460 rupees, while maintaining an ‘overweight’ rating

** MS sees ongoing improvement in ICICI’s asset quality trends over the next few quarters, expects stronger performance from the bank’s stock in 2019

** Loan growth should continue to trend up and net interest margins should improve as non interest-earning assets decline, MS says in a note

** MS expects increase in total loan growth to 17 pct by FY21 from 13 pct in Q2 2019; sees core cost-to-income ratio trending down as underlying revenue momentum picks up

** MS expects bank to report strong return on equity and core pre-provision operating profit growth for the next 2-3 years

** ICICI stock rose 14.7 pct in 2018, compared to a gain of 3.2 pct in the broader NSE Index

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