Target: ₹1,950

CMP: ₹1,763.10

Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) has undertaken a major top-management rejig (wef March), mainly elevating KVS Manian as JMD (replacing ex-JMD Dipak Gupta) and Shanti Ekambaram as DMD (possibly a notch below the JMD), subject to RBI approval.

Notably, there was news-flow suggesting that Manian could be one of the candidates for the MD & CEO post (due to be vacated in Sep-24) at Federal Bank, but KMB’s move should potentially eliminate any such risk. Separately, retiring group CFO Jaimin Bhatt will be replaced by Deepak Gheewala (COO), while Milind Nagnur will now hold the dual position of CTO & COO.

Paul Parambi (CRO - KMB) has been elevated as Group CRO. We believe such a rejig by KMB should possibly alleviate any immediate risk of top management attrition, but the new MD will still have the task of curbing attrition at the operational level, manage the ensuing asset quality risk, and hopefully review Bank’s strategic stance on business/branch expansion, investment portfolio rejig given higher share of AFS, sub-optimal dividend/capital consumption policy, stake reduction in subs, etc.

We retain Add and ₹1,950 target price, implying 2.5x Dec-25E core Bank ABV+₹480 subs value.