SBI Cards – IPO is an Easy Transaction

  • IPO Opens 2-5th Mar at 750-755/share 
  • Large Cap: 71,000 cr. Mkt cap
  • Sector – BFSI, Credit Cards
  • Valuations: P/E 51.4 times TTM, P/B 14.6 times (Post IPO)
  • Advice: SUBSCRIBE


  • Overview: SBIC offers credit cards to individual cardholders and corporate clients for a range of lifestyle, rewards, travel and fuel and shopping needs. SBIC is the 2nd largest CC issuer in India, with a 18% market share. Revenues, EBITDA and profit for FY19 were ₹6,999 cr., ₹2,430 cr. and ₹863 cr. resp. PAT for H1 FY20 is ₹725 cr. Revenues, EBITDA & PAT have grown at a CAGR of 44.6%, 48.3% and 52.1% resp. from FY17-FY19. SBIC’s financials are robust. SBIC has generated high RoE, NIM; while also maintaining sufficient capital buffer through high CAR & low D/E. SBIC is a well-managed firm financially. Credit cards are an underpenetrated segment and should see high growth for many years. In this industry, larger players enjoy network advantages.
  • Risks: 1) Valuations at PE of 51 times and PB of 14.6 times (TTM) are expensive. 2) Cyber-attacks or other security breaches could affect business 3) their loans portfolio is largely unsecured.
  • Opinion: Investors can SUBSCRIBE to this IPO with a 2 year perspective.

Here is a note on Indian SBI Cards and Payment Services (SBIC) IPO.

IPO highlights

  • The IPO opens: 2-5th Mar 2020 with the Price band: ₹750-755 per share.
  • Shares offered to public number 13.86 cr. The FV is ₹ 10 and market Lot is 19. The IPO in total will collect ₹10,355 cr. while selling 14.6% of equity.
  • The promoter group owns 74% in SBIC which will fall to 69% post-IPO. SBIC is a subsidiary of SBI, a PSB and India’s largest commercial bank in terms of deposits, advances and branches.
  • The IPO offer includes a fresh issue of shares and sale by current shareholder (OFS). The fresh issue proceeds would be ₹500 cr. and the OFS proceeds would be ₹9,855 cr. at UMP.
  • The IPO share quotas for QIB, NIB and retail are in ratio of 50:15:35.
  • CA Rover Holdings (Non Promoter – Non Public shareholder) owns the remaining 26% Pre-IPO in SBIC. CA Rover is controlled by Carlyle Group, a global investment firm with $222 bn. of AUM (FY19).
  • The unofficial/ grey market premium for this IPO is ₹350/share. This is a positive.


  • SBI Cards offers credit cards (CC) to individual cardholders and corporate clients in segments – lifestyle, rewards, travel and fuel, shopping, banking partnership cards and corporate cards. These cover all major cardholder segments in terms of income profiles and lifestyles.
  • Revenues, EBITDA and profit for FY19 were ₹6,999 cr., ₹2,430 cr. and ₹863 cr. resp. PAT for H1 FY20 is ₹725 cr. It has 3,783 employees (Sep 2019).
  • SBIC is the 2nd largest CC issuer in India, with 18.1% share in terms of cards and a 17.9% share by spends (per RBI). SBIC has grown faster than the market over last 3 years both in numbers and spends. From FY17-19, SBIC’s total CC spends grew at a 54.2% CAGR (35.6% CAGR for the CC industry) and the number of cards grew at a 34.5% CAGR (25.6% CAGR for the overall CC industry).
  • SBIC has a broad CC portfolio that includes SBI as well as co-branded CCs. See Exhibit 2. They offer 4 primary SBI branded CCs: SimplySave, SimplyClick, Prime and Elite, each catering to different needs. SBIC is also the largest co-brand CC issuer in India and has partnerships with several major players in the travel, fuel, fashion, healthcare and mobility industries. SBIC issues its CC in partnership with the Visa, MasterCard and RuPay payment networks.
  • SBIC acquires customers using multiple channels. They have deployed a sales force of 32,677 outsourced personnel in 145 cities to engage prospects through physical PoS in bank branches, retail stores, malls, fuel stations, railway stations, airports, corporate parks and offices, as well as through tele-sales, online channels, email, SMS marketing and mobile apps. SBIC has a presence in 3,190 open market points of sale. In addition, the partnership with SBI provides them with access to their network of 21,961 branches, and enables them to market CCs to their customer base of 44.5 cr.
  • SBI earns its revenues from (a) Interest Income (b) Fee base income. For breakup, see Fig 1(a).

jainmatrix investmentsjainmatrix investments, sbi cards IPOFig 1(a) SBIC FY19 Operating Revenue and Fig 1(b) Revenue over FY17-19, and Fig 1(c) Fees & Services Details

  • SBIC has a diversified revenue model whereby they generate both non-interest income (fee based income such as interchange fees, late fees and annual fees) as well as interest income on CC receivables. SBIC’s operating model is focused on the cardholder’s 2 main financial needs: transactional needs and short term credit.
  • Interest income is earned when cardholders roll over their dues. SBIC earns interest income on its assets (receivables) when card holders don’t make payment in full when they are due.
  • Fee based income is earned by levying fees and charges to its cardholders. These are categorized as (a) Subscription-based fees: consist of CC membership fees and annual CC fees charged to cardholders. (b) Spend-based income: is interchange fees that the co. earns as consideration for the transactions on using the CCs. In addition, they also earn forex markup income on international transactions (c) Instance-based fees: instance-based fees include late fees, reward redemption fees, cash withdrawal fees, overlimit fees, payment dishonour fees, processing fees or service charges for cross-sell or value added products, statement retrieval charges, among others. See Fig 1(c).

jainmatrix investments, sbi cards ipoFig 2 – SBIC personal CC portfolio details

    • As of 9M FY20, the personal cards portfolio (Fig 2) had 9.99 m. cards. In addition to personal cards SBIC offers corporate cards and white label ATM cards. White label CCs are partner-branded CCs that carry the brand partner’s logo only. They also offer 1 white label CC with partner Tata Sons.
    • Leadership is Rajnish Kumar (C’man), Hardayal Prasad MD-CEO, Richhpal Singh COO, Nalin Negi CFO

News, Updates and Strategies

  • The IPO of SBIC got delayed from Dec 2019 to Mar 2020 as there was an investigation by SEBI of SBI MF over share trading allegations of Manappuram Finance. The ok for IPO was finally given by SEBI.
  • cost of share acquisition by CA Rover Holdings was Rs 81. The partial exit is at a 9.25X gain.
  • SBIC launched a co-branded CC with Vistara in Nov 2019 with variants Club Vistara and PRIME.
  • SBIC in Dec 2019 has made an application to list CPs for an issue size of ₹400 cr. to the BSE.
  • SBIC’s business strategy is:
    • To expand its customer acquisition capabilities and grow the cardholder base. SBIC will increase the number of open market physical points of sale that they operate. They are focused on increasing presence in tier II and tier III cities where their cardholder base has been low so far.
    • To tap into new cardholder segments by broadening the portfolio of CC products.
    • To stimulate growth in CC transaction volumes.
    • To enhance cardholder experience.
    • To continue leveraging technology across their operations.

Digital Payments and CC Industry Outlook in India

  • In CY17, the penetration of CCs in India was 2.2% as compared to 320% in the US, 42% in China and 73% in Brazil, and CC spends as a percentage of GDP stood at 3% as compared to 17% in the US, 25% in Hong Kong and 12% in Brazil. Hence Indian CC market is highly underpenetrated with long runway for growth. SBIC would benefit from the fast evolving youth and spend dynamics.
  • The payments space has seen rapid innovation in the past few years, led by govt. and regulatory initiatives as well as changing consumer preferences. Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM), the demonetization of high value currency notes in Nov 2016, implementation of GST and the unveiling of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) are some of the notable regulatory initiatives that have spurred growth in the digital payments space. New Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks have also brought new innovation, platforms and infra here. Digital payment volumes (including RTGS, but excluding interbank clearing, ECS, NEFT, IMPS, NACH, cards and prepaid instruments) have quadrupled in the last 3 years ending FY19.
  •  In terms of volume, digital payments transactions logged a 5 year CAGR of 49% from FY14-19, owing to factors such as a younger population, rising smartphone penetration, an increase in mobile internet users, increasing convenience of transacting digitally, and a booming ecommerce sector.
  •  The digital payments value in India is expected to more than double to ₹4,055 tn. in FY24 from ₹1,630 tn. in FY19, translating into a 5 year CAGR of 20%.
  • The Indian e-commerce industry has nearly doubled since FY16. CC accounts for 30-35% of ecommerce payment value while cash on delivery accounts for around 50-60%. CC usage has improved by introducing card on delivery/ portable payment options.

jainmatrix investments, sbi cards ipoExhibit 3 – Key metrics of CC players in India

  • Growth in CC volumes has risen up over the years, while annual spending has grown moderately. The no. of CCs issued is 4.7 cr. in FY19, having grown at 20% CAGR over the last 5 years, and is expected to grow by 25% from FY19-FY20, while annual spends per card is expected to grow by 1%.
  • CC spends have registered a robust growth, growing at a CAGR of 32% from FY15-19 to reach ₹6 tn. in FY19, and is expected to reach ₹15 tn. by FY24.
  • There are a total of 74 players offering CCs in India, with the top 3 private banks (HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank) and SBI Card – as the leading pure-play CC issuer, dominating with a 72% market share by number of CCs as of FY19 and 66% market share by CC spends. See Exhibit 3.

Financials of SBIC

jainmatrix investments, sbi cards ipoFig 4 – SBIC Financials

  • Revenues, EBITDA & PAT have grown at a CAGR of 44.6%, 48.3% and 52.1% resp. from FY17-FY19. The 3 year no’s. are solid with rapid growth, see Fig 4.
  • SBIC for 9M FY20 reported at PAT of ₹1,161 cr., an 89% growth YoY over the same period last year.
  • PBT for 9M FY20 ₹1,619 cr. has grown by 71% YoY over 9M FY19. This is very strong operational performance despite higher provisions for bad debt.
  • EBITDA and PAT margins for SBIC are high and have improved from FY17-19.
  • SBIC had a RoE of 24%. The 3 year average RoE is 24.6%. This is an excellent return ratio.
  • SBIC has paid tax at 35% of PBT in the last 3 years. There can be a substantial profit and RoE increase in FY20 with the reduction to 25% corporate tax.


We benchmark SBIC against listed private sector banks which have a CC business, a top NBFCs and a top microfinance Bank, as there is no other listed pure play CC player today. See Exhibit 5.

jainmatrix investments, sbi cards IPO

Fig 5 – Benchmarking    Note: 1) Sales & PAT growth for SBI Cards is over FY17-19, so it is 2 year CAGR growth. 2) Market share, avg loan per card o/s & avg spend per card are metrics for only the CC parts of the businesses.

  • PE and PB of SBIC are among the highest in the peer group, only Bajaj Finance, an NBFC leader is higher. Basis these valuations SBIC looks very expensive.
  • The sales and PAT growth for SBIC are also among the highest with only microfinance leader Bandhan doing better. They are growing fast as India’s CC market is highly underpenetrated.
  • SBIC’s NIM’s at 15.5% (FY19) is the highest amongst its peer group. This is a clear stand out which makes SBIC a candidate for high valuation multiples.
  • SBIC has a low D/E indicating that there is headroom for more leverage.
  • The RoE of SBIC for FY19 is the highest amongst the comparables. The 3 year average is high as well and RoE is likely to remain elevated. Dividend yield for SBIC at 1.19% is good.
  • HDFC Bank has the highest market share and SBIC is next. The market is under-penetrated and there is enough headroom for all players to grow. SBIC leads in the avg. spend per card.

Positives for SBIC and the IPO

  • The listing of SBIC will provide investors access to the second largest CC issuer in India and provide the first listed pure-play CC issuer with a 20 year operating history. The high performing BFSI sector in India has another unique and high quality offering with SBIC.
  • SBIC’s financials are robust. SBIC has generated high RoE and NIM, while also maintaining sufficient capital buffer through high CAR & low D/E. This is good financial management by the company.
  • It has the leading revenue and sales growth of the top 4 players, with growing market share.
  • SBIC has diversified customer acquisition capabilities. SBIC is a leading player in open market customer acquisitions in India. They have deployed a large outsourced sales team. When a point of sale is not directly managed by them, they work with their 11 non-bank co-brand partners and 7 co-brand bank partners using their distribution network (including their co-brand partner’s retail outlets), communication channels and customer interactions to market CCs to their customers.
  • The major competitors are more focused on internal marketing of CCs to banking customers.
  • SBIC gets supported by a strong brand and pre-eminent promoter. The relationship with SBI extends to joint promotions, sharing of office space, etc. In fiscals FY19, 18, and 17, new accounts acquired from SBI’s customer base accounted for 55.2%, 45.5% and 35.2%, resp., of SBIC total new accounts.
  • The industry characteristics suggest that the credit cards business has a network effect, so larger players have an advantage over smaller ones of sharing of infrastructure and management costs, easier marketing and benefits deals for customers, etc. Here SBIC has a #2 player advantage.
  • With just 3,783 of its own employees, SBIC has outsourced many activities, improving productivity.
  • SBIC has a good and and diversified portfolio of CC products offering.
  • SBIC has ample potential to tap SBI’s large customer base, for growth.
  • SBIC has an experienced and professional management team. The MD & CEO, Mr. Hardayal Prasad, has over 36 years of experience in the financial services industry. A large number of the senior management personnel have worked with SBIC for a significant period of time, resulting in effective operational coordination and continuity of business strategies.

Risks and Negatives for SBIC and the IPO

  • Valuations at PE 51 times and PB 14.6 times (TTM) are very expensive. On a relative basis, SBIC has valuations just less than Bajaj Finance which has an outstanding 15 year growth and track record.
  • SBIC derives substantial benefits from their existing relationship with their promoter SBI, and a loss or reduction in the level of support they receive from them could adversely affect SBIC.
  • SBIC does not own the ’SBI’ trademark and currently uses it pursuant to a non-exclusive licensing agreement. SBIC pays royalty fees of 2% of their net profit or 0.2% of income, whichever is higher. The licensing agreement may be terminated by SBI on occurrence of events: SBI’s shareholding in SBIC falls below 26%, if they undergo a change of control event, or if they fail to pay royalty to SBI.
  • Several senior officers in SBIC are on deputation from SBI and may return there causing a skills loss.
  • The CC portfolio is of unsecured loans and not supported by collateral. 98.6% of it is unsecured.
  • With 74 players, the sector looks crowded. Competition can rise also if any player decides to commit heavily to the business, with fresh investments. However so far SBIC has handled the pressures well.
  • Cyber-attacks or other security breaches can have a material adverse effect on their business. Cards cloning, phishing, etc. are threats to the business. Coronavirus too can impact consumer sentiment.

Overall Opinion and Recommendation

  • Credit cards are a mid and premium lifestyle product, and are quite habit forming, both in terms of purchases, new services experiences as well as convenience of bill payments. We expect growth to continue for many years.
  • SBIC is a well-managed firm financially. The growth, return ratios and operating metrics are robust.
  • At a 9M FY20 P/B of 14.6 times, the valuation is expensive. However this retail focused fast growing company has good return metrics and should get a premium valuation in the market.
  • Risks: 1) Valuations at PE of 51 times and PB of 14.6 times (TTM) are expensive. 2) Cyber-attacks or other security breaches could affect business 3) their loans portfolio is largely unsecured.
  • Opinion: Investors can SUBSCRIBE to this IPO with a 2 year perspective.


This document has been prepared by JainMatrix Investments Bangalore (JM), and is meant for use by the recipient only as information and is not for circulation. This document is not to be reported or copied or made available to others without prior permission of JM. It should not be considered or taken as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources that are considered to be reliable. However, JM has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the same. Punit Jain discloses that he has been a retail customer of SBIC since 5 years. Other than this JM has no stake ownership or known financial interests in SBIC or any group company. Punit Jain intends to apply for this IPO in the Retail category. Neither JM nor any of its affiliates, its directors or its employees accepts any responsibility of whatsoever nature for the information, statements and opinion given, made available or expressed herein or for any omission therein. Recipients of this report should be aware that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and value of investments can go down as well. The suitability or otherwise of any investments will depend upon the recipient’s particular circumstances and, in case of doubt, advice should be sought from an Investment Advisor. Punit Jain is a registered Research Analyst under SEBI (Research Analysts) Regulations, 2014. JM has been publishing equity research reports since Nov 2012. Any questions should be directed to the director of JainMatrix Investments at


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