Nov 18, 2016 15:16:45

Recovery on track ?

Loans growth has rebounded
Bank Indonesia states that banking industry loans growth in October 2016 grew by 7.5% YoY. The growth was better than September’s growth of 6.5% YoY, and October is the first month where loans growth accelerates after a string of deceleration that had happened since the start of the year. Furthermore, Bank Indonesia expects that significant loans growth recovery could start in 2Q17 as appetite for capacity expansion is expected to rebound. In line with authorities’ projection, we expect that loans to grow by 11% in 2017, helped by : 1) Higher GDP growth as we expect GDP to grow by 5.3% in 2017 versus 5.1% in 2017 2) Bank Indonesia’s stance to keep liquidity afloat by keeping lenient monetary policy 3) High level consumer confidence that we expect to continue throughout 2017 where in October 2016 the reading was at 116.8, much higher than in September of 110.0.
NPL is stabilizing
Banking industry NPL was lower to 3.1% in September 2016 from 3.2% a month earlier after accelerating consistently since January 2016. This is an encouraging sign that asset quality has begun to stabilize. With accelerating loans growth in October 2016, we expect that the NPL reading in October could be better. The improvement of asset quality is the main theme of our call for better bottom line growth for banking industry in 2017. As of September 2016, banks grew its net income by only 9.7% YoY to Rp84.8 tn. Slower growth of provision expense in 2017 due to gradual decrease of NPL would be the main factor for net income acceleration in 2017. We expect banking industry’s to book 15-17% net income growth in 2017 thanks to higher loans growth and declining NPL.
Cost of fund is starting to creep up
OJK confirms that several banks from Book I to Book IV have started to slightly increase special TD rates since October 2016. The increase of TD rate is inevitable as LDR is stubbornly above 90% and banks have begun to push loans book growth after long period of asset quality consolidation. Nevertheless, we will only see gradual increase of cost of fund and stabilization of NIM instead of significant drop of NIM as we believe Bank Indonesia will keep its commitment to lenient monetary policy to keep the acceleration of GDP growth,
What will the central bank do ?
Bank Indonesia decided to keep reverse repo rate benchmark at 4.75% (in part to guard the exchange rate stability) in response to global uncertainty after Trump won US presidential election. However, we do not believe that BI would change its course to a more hawkish stance as inflation is still contained and the need of monetary policy to complement the already limited fiscal room. Instead, we expect BI to lower reserve requirement in 1H17 to push liquidity to the market.
BBNI and BJBR are still our top pick

We maintain BBNI as our top pick for Book IV bank on the back of our conviction that the bank could significantly lower improve its asset quality in 2017. We expect BBNI’s NPL to decline to 2.5% at the end of 2017 from 3Q16 level of 3.1% on. For Book III bank, BJBR is our choice as the bank’s transformation has proven to significantly improve asset quality in 2016 that can continue throughout 2017.