NABIL Stock Cheaper Than NICA: But Where Is It Headed?

Mon, Jan 23, 2023 4:43 PM on Company Analysis, Stock Market, Exclusive,

The secondary market stock of Nabil Bank Limited (NABIL) has gone through a selling frenzy in the last few trading sessions.

NABIL closed at Rs. 710.90 today. Meanwhile, NIC Asia Bank Limited (NICA) shares were last priced at Rs. 835.

If a company’s stock is priced higher than its competitors, it must be worth more than its competitors, right?

The stock price of any company depends on countless factors other than the company’s real worth. Among all stock price constraints, Demand and Supply is one important factor.

Some shareholders in NEPSE still take stock price information at face value. This article will examine NABIL, its financial strength, and its industry position.

1) But first, why did NABIL's stock price decline?

Addressing the elephant in the room: Why did the share price of NABIL fall immediately?

If one looks at the unadjusted stock price chart of NABIL, the stock shows a sharp gap down on January 02.


The stock closed the previous day at Rs. 854.50. The next day, it opened way below, at Rs. 735.50.

While most experienced investors will realize why this happened, this effect may be startling for fresh investors.

For lack of a better phrase, this phenomenon can be called the Dividend Effect.

Explaining the Book Closure Effect/ Dividend Effect

A company first declares a dividend for a certain fiscal year. It then announces a book closure date.

Shareholders who own shares of the company before the book closure date are eligible for the dividend payout.

NEPSE, the official stock exchange of Nepal, then adjusts the company’s stock price on the book closure date.

The stock's value will then decrease approximately in line with the sum of dividends disbursed.

However, this isn’t a bad thing for shareholders. If the company distributed a bonus dividend, shareholders now own more shares but with the same total monetary value, a result of the adjustment of stock price.

Potential investors who haven’t bought the shares yet can do the same analysis on the company because the company’s basic fundamentals haven’t changed.

Additionally, a company that distributes bonus shares does it to reinvest in its own business. A business that reinvests its profit to expand is considered a good company globally.

Perhaps for this reason or another, shareholders instead believe that the stock price of a company will go up eventually in time after bonus shares adjustment.

Dividend Effect in NABIL

Nabil Bank recently convened its 38th AGM for the FY 2078-79 under the leadership of its chairman Mr. Upendra Prasad Paudel.

Apart from the regular financial reports, the AGM endorsed the board’s proposal to provide 18.5% bonus shares and 11.5% cash dividends to its shareholders from the profit it had made in the previous fiscal year.

This is why the share price was adjusted on January 02, since the company had declared its book closure that day.

Acquisition of NBB Bank

Nabil Bank recently acquired Nepal Bangladesh Bank Limited with a swap ratio of 100:43.

Thus, 10,08,53,998 total shares of NBB were listed as additional NABIL shares after the joint operation.

Merger and acquisition, in its essence, is beneficial for the company.

Mergers and acquisitions can provide benefits such as increased market share, cost savings, access to new technologies and products, diversification, and improved financial performance.

However, the process topples the naturally-maintained demand and supply constraints in the market.

As the company stock is freed for trading after the acquisition process, the market pool is often erratic, and shares go through a vigorous exchange of hands.

While not trying to exclude countless other possibilities, this erratic market adjustment might, very well, have been the reason for NABIL’s erratic decline in the last few trading sessions.

Furthermore, during a conversation with a stock market veteran, the author noted that the share swap ratio was arguably lucrative for NBB shareholders. The veteran then argued that this may have caused quick profit-booking among a few cohorts of investors, which can’t be ruled unlikely.

2) Numbers to Numbers: NABIL vs. NICA

Opinions on either side are fickle, but numbers don’t lie.

Comparing financial figures is arguably the best way to compare two companies because it provides an objective and quantitative analysis of their financial performance and condition.

By looking at different financial metrics, such as revenue, profits, assets, and cash flow, one gets a clear idea of how well each company is performing and how it might do in the future. 

Dividend History 

Dividend history is an important indicator of the financial strength of a company. A company's dividend history can provide insight into its profitability, cash flow, and overall financial stability.

A company that has a consistent and increasing dividend history is generally considered to be financially stable and well-established. This is because dividends are typically paid out of a company's profits, and a company that is consistently profitable and generating cash flow is able to pay dividends to its shareholders. 

A company that has a consistent dividend history also indicates that it is able to meet its financial obligations, such as debt repayment and reinvestment in the business. This is particularly important for companies in the financial sector, as investors often rely on dividends as a source of income.

As seen in the figure above, NABIL has been fairly consistent in disbursing its dividends. In the last five fiscal years, it has always distributed dividends higher than 30% to its shareholders.

On the other hand, NICA has been inconsistent with its dividend payouts in the last five fiscal years. Furthermore, NICA did not declare any dividends for the two most recent fiscal years. 

Deposit Growth

Deposit figures are considered to be a significant metric in evaluating the fundamental and financial soundness, as well as the overall strength of a commercial bank.

Deposits represent the funds that customers have placed with the bank and are a crucial source of funding for the bank's operations and lending activities.

The yearly trend of deposit figures is also vital as it provides insight into the bank's ability to attract and retain customers. A bank that is able to consistently increase its deposits year after year is likely to be well-managed and have a strong customer base.

Furthermore, a bank with a large deposit base is generally considered to be more financially stable than one with a smaller deposit base, as it has a larger pool of funds to draw from in case of loan defaults or other financial challenges.


Comparing the deposit figure and yearly trend, it is apparent that NICA has been leading from FY 2074/75 till FY 2077/78.

However, Nabil Bank saw a significant boost recently, i.e. in FY 2078/79.

Nabil Bank reported a gross deposit mobilization of Rs. 329.58 Arba, while NICA reported Rs. 294.98 Arba worth of deposits.

This was a growth of 44.57% for Nabil Bank, while the deposit figure of NICA rather saw a decline compared to the amount reported in the previous fiscal year.

It is important to note that the significant surge in NABIL’s deposit (and lending) figure is partly a result of its acquisition of Nepal Bangladesh Bank (NBB). If the combined entity can continue to retain both the individual entity’s depositors, borrowers, and clients, NABIL can apparently maintain a dominant footing in these metrics for the foreseeable future.

Furthermore, both commercial banks recently unveiled their Q2 report for this fiscal year (2079/80). As per the reports, Nabil Bank has reported Rs. 347.46 Arba worth of deposits in the said quarter. Meanwhile, Nic Asia Bank has reported the deposit from customers totaling Rs. 305.8 Arba.


Lending figures are important indicators of the financial growth of a commercial bank.

The amount of loan a bank has outstanding is a good indicator of the bank's ability to generate revenue through interest and fees. A consistent and steady increase in lending over time indicates that the bank is able to make loans to customers and that there is a demand for the bank's lending services.

The yearly trend of lending figures is also significant as it provides insight into the bank's loan portfolio and risk management. A bank that is able to consistently increase its lending year after year is likely to have a well-diversified loan portfolio and effective risk management practices in place.

Furthermore, a bank with a large loan portfolio is generally considered to be more financially stable than one with a smaller loan portfolio, as it has a more diversified revenue stream.

The lending figures and yearly trends of the two banking giants are identical in nature to their deposit trends. NICA has consistently dominated lending from FY 2074/75 to FY 2077/78.

However, NABIL witnessed a surge in lending in the recent FY 2078/79. While NICA reported a gross lending figure of Rs. 268.24 Arba in the said fiscal year, NABIL reported a whopping amount totaling Rs. 310.57 Arba.

In comparison, NABIL’s loan portfolio was almost 16% higher than that of NICA in the previous fiscal year.

In the said fiscal year, NABIL’s lending figure had grown by 50.31% compared to its own figure the year before. Meanwhile, NICA’s lending portfolio had grown by a meager 1.26%.

Additionally, in the recently unveiled Q2 report of this fiscal year, Nabil Bank reported Rs. 315.6 Arba worth of loans and advances to its customers, and Rs. 9.58 Arba to BFIs. Meanwhile, Nic Asia Bank has forwarded Rs. 256.86 Arba worth of loans and advances to its customers, and Rs. 9.81 Arba to BFIs.

Paid-Up Capital

Paid-up capital is the amount of money that shareholders have invested in a company by purchasing shares.

In the case of a commercial bank, paid-up capital is a measure of the bank's ability to withstand financial losses and continue operations. A bank with a large paid-up capital is considered to be more financially stable and better able to absorb potential losses.

In essence, therefore, the paid-up capital is an important measure of a bank’s financial strength.

Additionally, paid-up capital is also an important factor in determining the bank's credibility and reputation. A bank with a high paid-up capital is generally considered to be more financially stable and trustworthy and is more likely to attract and retain customers.

For these reasons, the paid-up capital plays a significant role in determining the credibility and fundamental soundness of a commercial bank and is an important metric to assess the bank's financial health and stability.

NICA has a paid-up capital of Rs. 11.56 Arba. Meanwhile, NABIL maintains a paid-up capital figure of Rs. 27.056 Arba. Nabil Bank has shown consistent paid-up capital growth over time.

Thus, NABIL now maintains a paid-up capital figure that equates to 134% of NICA’s paid-up capital.

Although NABIL did have a higher paid-up capital before the acquisition of Nepal Bangladesh Bank (NBB), the acquisition has certainly proved beneficial in this metric as well.

3) NABIL’s Unique Industry Position

Nabil Bank is a well-established and highly reputable commercial bank that has been a leader in the industry for many years.

With a long history of providing competitive banking services, Nabil Bank has earned the trust and confidence of its customers and clients. Known for its strong financial performance and commitment to excellence, Nabil Bank is a bank that customers can rely on for all their banking needs.

Whether it's a personal account or a business account, Nabil Bank's wide range of products and services is tailored to meet the unique needs of its customers. Its consistency in delivering high-quality services and its reputation for stability and security makes it a preferred choice for many customers.

Credibility and Trustworthiness

Being a market leader in the past can help a company in the future in several ways. One way is that it can establish a strong brand and reputation, which can make it easier for the company to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Additionally, a company that has been a market leader naturally has a larger customer base, which provides a steady source of revenue and makes it easier for the company to invest in new products and technologies.

Furthermore, being a market leader in the past does give Nabil Bank a competitive advantage by making it easier to negotiate favorable terms with other businesses, attract top talent in its HR pool, and secure funding from investors.

Spread Rate and Base Rate

The spread rate is the difference between the interest rate a bank charges on loans and the interest rate it pays on deposits. Banks use a spread rate to measure their profitability and usually have a target spread rate that they aim to achieve.

Meanwhile, the base rate, also known as the benchmark rate, is the minimum interest rate at which a bank can lend to its customers.

When a bank has a comfortable margin before it reaches the industry-set limit on spread rate and base rate, it means that it has room to increase its profitability.

The industry limit on the spread rate for commercial banks is currently 4.4%. Nabil Bank has maintained a spread rate of 4.03%. This means that the bank still has 0.37% of room to increase its spread rate and thus increase its profitability.

Note: Commercial Banks should now maintain a spread rate within 4% by the end of this year, as per Nepal Rastra Bank’s first quarterly review of the monetary policy.

Similarly, the industry limit on the base rate is currently 12% for commercial banks. Meanwhile, Nabil Bank's base rate is 9.45%. This is an advantage to attracting better customers and quality businesses.

Apart from the obvious observation, this also indicates that Nabil Bank is well-positioned to take advantage of market conditions and capitalize on growth opportunities, which can be beneficial for the bank and its shareholders.

CASA Ratio

CASA ratio stands for the Current and Saving Account ratio. Although the CASA ratio is often overlooked, it is an important metric for measuring a bank's liquidity and efficiency.

Nabil Bank has a better CASA ratio than the industry average, which is a positive indication of the bank's financial health and stability. Nabil Bank has a CASA ratio of 42.28%, compared to the industry average of 39.37%.

A higher CASA ratio means that Nabil Bank has a larger proportion of low-cost deposits, such as current and savings accounts, in relation to its total deposits. This allows the bank to have more liquidity and to be able to meet its short-term obligations, such as loan disbursals and cash withdrawals, more easily.

A higher CASA ratio also means that Nabil Bank has a strong customer base and good customer relationships. It indicates that the bank is able to attract and retain a large number of low-cost deposits, which is a sign of customer trust and confidence in the bank.

Moreover, having a better CASA ratio than the industry average also helps Nabil Bank to reduce its overall cost of funds, as these deposits carry lower interest rates than other forms of deposits, as a result, it increases the net interest margin of the bank and thus helps to increase the profitability of the bank.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the recent decline in the stock price of Nabil Bank Limited (NABIL) can partly be attributed to the "Dividend Effect," nonetheless not ignoring all other possible parameters.

Additionally, the acquisition of Nepal Bangladesh Bank Limited may have also contributed to the market adjustment and the subsequent decline in NABIL's stock price.

However, the acquisition of Nepal Bangladesh Bank has already started to strengthen Nabil Bank’s footing in the banking sector, as depicted in this article. The long-term benefits of the acquisition, of course, will be seen with time.

It is important to note that the company's fundamentals have not changed and potential investors can still analyze the company for long-term growth opportunities. 

Disclaimer: Investment in securities comes with market risks. This article is not a stock recommendation. Needless to say, people can have inherent strategy bias, and so can the author.