Ranking Kenya’s Most Promising Bank Stocks

Which Kenyan bank share offers the most attractive combination of profitability and value? Here we calculate the implied return of each one.

Last month we calculated the implied return of Kenya’s three largest bank stocks.

To do it, we simply multiplied each bank’s book-to-price (B/P) ratio by its return on equity (ROE) over the most recent twelve months. (Click here for a refresher on the method.)

The resulting return forecast shouldn’t be viewed in isolation, but it does give a good sense of which shares might offer the best combination of profitability and value.

The Most Bang for Your Bank Stock Buck

All Kenyan banks have now published their mid-year results. So, I thought it would be interesting to calculate implied returns for all eleven of them.

The results are in the table below, arranged from highest implied return to lowest.

Company Share Price (5.9.2018) Book/Price Ratio Return on Equity Implied Return
1. NIC Group Ksh29.00 1.71 12.9% 22.0%
2. I&M Holdings Ksh102.00 1.07 16.4% 17.6%
3. KCB Group Ksh44.50 0.73 21.8% 15.9%
4. Stanbic Holdings Ksh101.00 1.06 14.8% 15.6%
5. Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Ksh189.00 0.95 14.4% 13.7%
6. Equity Group Ksh44.75 0.52 23.9% 12.4%
7. Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ksh16.75 0.69 18.0% 12.4%
8. Barclays Bank of Kenya Ksh11.15 0.67 17.5% 11.8%
9. Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya Ksh205.00 0.63 18.0% 11.4%
10. National Bank of Kenya Ksh5.45 3.48 0.8% 2.8%
11. HF Group Ksh6.90 4.58 -0.2% -1.1%

What to Make of This

As you can see, NIC Group sports an implied return of 22.0% over the next twelve months. That’s head and shoulders above its peers.

Does this mean that you should run out and buy shares of NIC? Not necessarily.

The main reason that the stock ranks so highly is that it trades for a fraction of the bank’s net asset value. There might be a good reason for this. Perhaps the market expects NIC’s earnings to drop over the next year or two. Maybe its capital is inadequate or its asset quality is suspect.

These are the things you want to investigate before buying shares of the bank.

The table above is simply a tool that helps show you where to prioritize your research efforts.

Let’s Have Some Fun

But just for kicks, let’s see how well this ranking predicts actual returns over the next twelve months. I will track each bank’s return (including dividends) here.

Come September 2019, we’ll have a better idea of how much stock to put in this quick-and-dirty implied return metric.

Your Turn

Do you think the above ranking will turn out to be fairly accurate? Which three banks do you think will take the gold, silver, and bronze over the next twelve months. Let’s hear your take in the comments!


8 thoughts on “Ranking Kenya’s Most Promising Bank Stocks”

    1. Good point, Amin. With a short forecast window of 12 months, most of the differences in earnings growth should be captured by the ROE part of the equation. But over the long-term we’d want to take a closer look at dividend payout ratios, which can impact the level of earnings growth.

  1. Hello Ryan,
    Most banks are not covered with the risks of NPAs and book values do not contemplate anywhere. There are compliances taking place yet to be completely observed by some banks. But investors need to be very cautious on this call. Its really not real.

  2. Thank you for the analysis. Wow. Teaches me a lot considering I got a whole life ahead of me. I can make the right choices that most people didn’t make.

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