Nine of the top 20 Asia-Pacific banks by market capitalization logged declines in the 2021 fourth quarter, as a new variant of COVID-19 generated volatility in several markets toward the year-end, halting a broad recovery in bank stocks, S&P Global Market Intelligence research said.
Kotak Mahindra Bank, Ping An Bank, HDFC Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group reported declines of more than 5 per cent each in their market capitalization in the quarter ended December. 31, 2021.
Among gainers, Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd recorded the biggest quarterly increase in the pack, with a market cap gain of 7.72 per cent to $62.22 billion, followed by India’s ICICI Bank Ltd with 5.74 per cent growth.
Major Chinese banks continued to sit atop the ranking list, with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd leading with a market cap of US$245.48 billion, up 1.09 per cent from the prior quarter. China Merchants Bank Co Ltd and China Construction Bank Corp secured the second and third places, with market caps of $193.83 billion and $175.34 billion, respectively.
In December 2021, S&P Global Ratings said Asia-Pacific markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, will stay generally stable in 2022, mirroring a global trend. Most banking systems in the region will likely make a gradual return to pre-pandemic levels of asset quality and profitability amid high credit losses and tight interest margins in 2022. However, Chinese banks face growing pressures on their profitability amid slowing economic growth and regulatory crackdown on several sectors such as housing and technology.