Banques: réduction des coûts, restructuration et désendettement toujours au menu

La conférence organisée la semaine dernière par Morgan Stanley avec la plupart des grandes banques européennes a montré que les priorités des directions sont partout les mêmes.

« The good news from meeting 96 CEOs/CFOs was how many are now focused on gritty cost cutting, portfolio restructuring, faster deleveraging to try to deliver dividends ahead of expectations. But the bad news is much patience required given macro. »

[cleeng_content id= »468846866″ description= »Plus d\’analyses et de commentaires à découvrir…  » price= »0.19″ t= »article » referral= »0.05″]S’il existe bien des risques macro pesant sur le secteur, Morgan Stanley note que sur 6 mois, le secteur bancaire a enregistré l’une de ses meilleures performances au cours des 30 dernières années.

La thèse de la banque est que, pour un certain nombre de grands établissements, le marché sous-estime les efforts de réduction des coûts entrepris depuis le début de la crise – ce serait le cas de BNP Paribas, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, RBS, Credit Suisse et UBS. D’autres bonnes surprises pourraient venir également de KBC ou Deutsche Bank en matière de deleveraging.

On se focalisera plutôt sur les retours de la conférence concernant les banques françaises, suivies chez Morgan Stanley par Thibault Nardin, Sara Minelli et Huw van Steenis (passages en gras surlignés par nos soins).

« 1) Clearly the question of the potential impact of French macro and real estate slowdown on credit quality. Overall, comments remained similar to the messages given at the time of Q4 results. SocGen maintained its 60bps CoR guidance (MSe 65bps), but with H1 cost of risk in line with Q4 (65bps), followed by a gradual improvement in H2. CredAg maintained its view of a 10% increase in provisions at LCL (MSe +30%). We continue to see uncertainty about the strength and length of the SME credit cycle in France, given generally tighter corporate margins in France, slowing real estate market and slowdown internal consumption (higher taxes, unemployment etc…).
2) As we have argued in the past, the lack of top line growth and the uncertainty about the French/Italian credit cycle, we think investors’ focus has clearly turned to restructuring angles and capital return. Looking at potential for capital return, we felt the companies remained relatively constrained as they wait for the final fine-tuning of their business plans (i.e. budgeting for future RWA growth) as well as for further clarification on regulation. Still, SocGen and BNPP suggested cash a return “at least” in line with historical pay-out ratios (30-40%), in cash. We already raised our pay-outs at BNPP to 40% in 2014 and 50% in 2015, but see room for more. On our calculations and despite higher PORs, BNPP would show up with >€7bn excess capital at the end of 2015. We think hopes for higher capital return at SocGen remain too optimistic for now.
3) Finally, we think the focus has clearly turned to find ways of improving ROEs. This is where we see most differentiation between banks. The most convincing remains BNPP for now. SocGen showed clear commitment to creating value for shareholders with their new ambition of ROE > COE (i.e. equivalent to >10% vs. MSe at ~7%). These include (1) improving operational performance on costs (cost saving program should aim at cancelling inflation impact) and Int’l Retail (target 15% ROAC in Russia, Romania), (2) reduce the drag from cost of liquidity (negative impact of “several hundred millions” in 2012) and (3) banking on some growth opportunities, such as Africa. However, the message remains unclear given the scarcity of details, while we already include some of the above in our numbers. From a pure analyst point of view, we thought CredAg’s insightful presentation on CA CIB showed clear commitment towards refocusing and cost cuts, although there remains plenty of uncertainty about the LT potential of the Originate & Distribute model. Granularity on CIB RWA reduction, restructuring of Newedge and openness to more restructuring were positive messages. In conclusion, we continue to think BNPP and Natixis have the most interesting risk-reward to navigate through these different themes. Overall, we see large re-rating potential on a 2-3 year view on all French names, but think the stocks are exposed to macro mood swings in the ST, given catalysts are backloaded to H2 2013 / Q1 2014. »

La conférence a également été l’occasion pour MS d’organiser des enquêtes auprès des participations (800 investisseurs annoncé).

« In comparison to last year, the responses to our polls indicate a change in sentiment, with investors polled shifting their skew towards an Overweight stance on EU banks. Although this poll maybe biased by attendees being more inclined to invest in financials, this response correlates with recent EPFR data points flagged by our strategists, which show that investors are now overweight banks as well as insurance. »

Environ 45-50% des personnes sondées ont une vue plutôt positive sur le secteur bancaire, mais estiment que ce sont surtout les banques américaines qui offrent le plus fort potentiel d’amélioration à un horizon de 12 mois.

Concernant les leviers de création de valeur, l’attention des investisseurs est clairement focalisée sur le dividende et les rachats d’actions ainsi que sur le potentiel de restructuration des activités; la croissance du PNB, la baisse du coût du risque semblent plus secondaires.

Source: Morgan Stanley

Source: Morgan Stanley


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