November 13, 2017 / 5:13 AM / 7 months ago

REFILE-BUZZ-India's SBI leads NSE gainers on strong Q2

(Corrects headline to say NSE gainers, not gains)

** Shares of State Bank of India, the country’s top lender, rise as much as 3.4 pct to 344.8 rupees, making it the top pct gainer on NSE index

** SBI’s quarterly results on Friday indicated a slower build-up of bad loans for the country’s lenders

** SBI posted a lower-than-expected Q2 profit, but its bad loan additions during the three months to end-September slowed sharply and pushed down the overall bad-loan ratio

** “While volatility in non-perfomring loans (NPL) could persist, we are near the end of NPL recognition cycle and recovery/resolution will be key,” analysts at Jefferies write, raising their price target on SBI to 385 rupees from 325 rupees with a “buy” rating

* “We expect asset quality trend to remain stable except for a couple of bulky stressed names, and we expect the bank to continue to ramp up provision coverage,” Nomura analysts write, also raising their PT to 385 rupees from 300 rupees; rating “buy”

** 33 of the 42 analysts covering SBI stock rate it “buy”, 5 “hold” and 4 “sell”; median PT is 340 rupees - Thomson Reuters data

** Shares of SBI gained about 33 pct this year, up to Friday’s close

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