Best PSU Bank Stocks to Buy in 2023

by Alina Khan

Published On Oct. 26, 2023

In this article

In the dynamic landscape of India's financial markets, one sector continues to stand as a bastion of stability and government support – the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks. If you're on the lookout for prudent investments with the backing of government support, you're in the right place. In this blog, we embark on a journey to discover the best PSU bank stocks to buy in 2023. We delve into the intricacies of these financial institutions, their financial health, and the factors that make them compelling options for investors.

What are PSU Bank Stocks?

Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) bank stocks are shares in banks that are owned, controlled, and operated by the government. In India, these banks play a pivotal role in the country's financial system, catering to the banking needs of a vast population. These banks are known for their stability, government backing, and an extensive branch network that reaches every corner of the nation. Investing in PSU bank stocks involves buying ownership in these state-owned financial institutions.

Why Invest in PSU Bank Stocks?

Investing in PSU bank stocks can be a strategic move for several reasons:

  • Government Backing: PSU banks are government-owned entities, which provides a level of stability and security to investors.

  • Attractive Valuations: PSU bank stocks often trade at relatively lower valuations compared to private sector banks, making them potential value investments.

  • Dividend Income: Many PSU banks pay regular dividends, providing investors with a source of income.

  • Financial Inclusion: PSU banks are instrumental in bringing financial services to underserved and rural areas, contributing to social development.

  • Policy Initiatives: Government policies and initiatives aimed at strengthening the banking sector can benefit PSU banks.

Best PSU Bank Stocks to Buy in India

1. State Bank of India (SBI)

State Bank of India, often referred to as SBI, is one of the largest and oldest PSU banks in India. It has a vast network of branches both in India and abroad, making it a significant player in the banking industry. SBI's strong brand, extensive reach, and diversified financial services make it a prominent choice for investors.

2. Punjab National Bank (PNB)

Punjab National Bank is another well-established PSU bank in India. With a rich history and a substantial branch network, PNB offers various banking and financial services. It has demonstrated resilience and growth over the years.

3. Bank of Baroda (BOB)

Bank of Baroda is a leading PSU bank known for its global presence. It operates in numerous countries and provides a wide range of banking and financial products. BOB's international exposure and commitment to technology-driven services make it an attractive choice.

4. Canara Bank

Canara Bank is a renowned PSU bank with a strong domestic presence. The bank offers a comprehensive range of banking solutions and has been a significant contributor to India's financial landscape. Its commitment to innovation and customer-centric services is noteworthy.

5. Union Bank of India

Union Bank of India is known for its widespread network of branches and a variety of banking offerings. The bank's commitment to financial inclusion and its growth-oriented strategies have made it an appealing option for investors.

Performance Overview of the Best PSU Bank Stocks in India

Financial performance- banking sector reported a healthy profit of Rs. 0.74 lakh crore with a YoY jump of 69% for Q1FY2024 with PSU banks' share of profits increasing to 47%. To make informed investment decisions, it's essential to analyze the financial performance of these PSU bank stocks. Key performance indicators include asset quality, profitability, and capital adequacy.

1. State Bank of India (SBI)

State Bank of India (SBI), a Fortune Global 500 entity, holds a predominant position in India's banking sector, evolving by venturing into new businesses and strategic collaborations. With an expansive network, SBI has served over 480 million customers as of March FY23. Its strategic initiatives and mergers have fostered consistent growth, making it one of India's top companies in terms of market capitalization.

  1. The CAPITAL remained constant at ₹ 89,24,612 in both 2022 and 2023. This indicates the company has enough funds to meet its functioning and is not in need on any additional funding. This points to a healthy financial structure and stable profitability.

  2. Fixed Assets, forming 0.75% of the total assets, increased by 12.4% from ₹ 39,51,00,305 to ₹ 44,40,73,810. The majority of this increase was due to Premises, constituting 75.5% of the total fixed assets, which went up by 14.7% from ₹ 29,13,89,348 to ₹ 33,40,00,396. An increase in premises could possibly be due to the opening of new branches, ATMs etc., indicating people’s trust on the bank’s profitability and financial stability.

  3. Revenue from operations (interest earned) increased significantly by 21% from ₹ 2,89,97,26,860 to ₹ 3,50,84,45,801. Higher revenue can be attributed to greater amount of deposits and greater advances leading to higher profits earned by the banks.

  4. Interest on RBI and interbank borrowings, making up 5% of the total interest expended, increased significantly by 136%. An increase in the firm’s borrowings has caused a subsequent rise in the interest expenditure

2. Punjab National Bank (PNB)

Punjab National Bank (PNB) is a longstanding bank in India with extensive reach across key parts of the country, offering various services such as corporate and personal banking, industrial and agricultural finance, and international finance. The bank focuses on maintaining and enhancing low-cost deposits and lending primarily to the agricultural sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As of March FY23, PNB has served over 180 million customers, operating 10,076 branches and 12,898 ATMs. It reported a net interest income of Rs 34,492 crores and a net profit of Rs 3,069 crore in FY22-23. After merging with Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India, PNB has become India's second-largest public sector bank in terms of branch network.

3. Bank of Baroda (BOB)

Bank of Baroda (BOB) offers a comprehensive range of banking services and has expanded its customer base to over 30 million as of March FY23. Following the amalgamation with Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, BOB aims to reduce non-performing assets (NPAs) and increase its market share. The bank maintains consistent revenue and profit growth, boasting robust financial performance indicators.

4. Canara Bank

Canara Bank is prominently known for its operations in treasury, retail, and wholesale banking. Having amalgamated with Syndicate Bank, it aims to compete globally. As of March FY23, the bank has served over 108 million customers through numerous branches, including international ones. Canara Bank is part of the Reserve Bank of India's Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project, launching a mobile application called ‘Canara Digital Rupee.’

5. Union Bank of India

Union Bank of India offers a diverse range of banking services and has international branches in various locations such as Hong Kong, Sydney, and London. Following the amalgamation with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, it now operates 8,580 branches and 10,835 ATMs, catering to over 155 million customers as of March FY23. Union Bank has a significant business volume, with total deposits and advances amounting to Rs 19,27,621 crores. It also ranked first in the EASE reform index as per the Indian Banks Association (IBA).

Why PSU Banking Stocks are Rising?

Several factors contribute to the rise in PSU banking stocks in India:

1. Government Support

The government's continued support and initiatives aimed at strengthening the banking sector, including capital infusion, have boosted investor confidence in PSU banks.

2. Economic Recovery

The post-pandemic economic recovery has positively impacted PSU banks, with increased lending opportunities and improved asset quality.

3. Digital Transformation

PSU banks are embracing digital technologies and expanding their online and mobile banking services, enhancing their competitiveness.

4. Attractive Valuations

Lower valuations of PSU bank stocks, in comparison to private banks, have attracted investors looking for value opportunities.

5. Policy Initiatives

Government policies, such as the merger of several PSU banks, have aimed to create stronger and more efficient entities, which has had a positive impact on their performance.

Future of PSU Banking Stocks

The future of PSU banking stocks in India holds promise as these institutions continue to adapt and evolve. Key factors shaping their future include:

  • Technology Adoption: PSU banks are expected to continue their digital transformation, providing modern banking solutions and expanding their reach.

  • Policy Reforms: Government policy reforms and initiatives will play a crucial role in shaping the banking sector's future.

  • Economic Growth: As India's economy grows, so does the potential for increased banking services, which will benefit PSU banks.

  • Risk Management: Effective risk management practices will be essential for maintaining asset quality and financial stability.

  • Financial Inclusion: PSU banks will continue to drive financial inclusion by expanding their reach to underserved areas and populations.

Factors to Consider Before Investing in PSU Bank Stocks

Before investing in PSU bank stocks, it's crucial to consider the following factors:

  • Asset Quality: Assess the bank's asset quality by examining the level of non-performing assets (NPAs).

  • Management Quality: Evaluate the bank's leadership and their ability to manage risks and drive growth.

  • Valuation: Consider whether the stock is undervalued or overvalued based on fundamental analysis.

  • Government Policies: Stay informed about government policies and initiatives that can impact the banking sector.

  • Economic Conditions: Monitor economic conditions, as they can influence the performance of PSU banks.

  • Diversification: Diversify your portfolio to spread risk by including a mix of different PSU bank stocks.

Wrapping Up

Investing in PSU bank stocks in India can be a strategic choice for those seeking stability, government support, and potential value opportunities. Leading PSU banks like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, and Union Bank of India have displayed improved financial performance and continue to adapt to the changing financial landscape.

However, it's essential to conduct thorough research, consider government policies, and evaluate economic conditions before making investment decisions. With prudent analysis and a long-term investment horizon, PSU bank stocks can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio, contributing to the growth and development of the Indian economy.

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  1. Which PSU Bank gives the highest dividend?

The PSU bank that gives the highest dividend may vary over time, but historically, banks like the State Bank of India (SBI) have offered substantial dividends.

  1. Which PSU is most profitable?

The most profitable PSU bank may vary based on financial performance, but banks like SBI, Punjab National Bank (PNB), and Bank of Baroda (BOB) have shown strong profitability.

  1. Which is the fastest-growing PSU bank in India?

The fastest-growing PSU bank in India can change over time, but banks like Union Bank of India and Canara Bank have shown noteworthy growth.

  1. What is the future outlook for PSU bank stocks in 2024?

The future outlook for PSU bank stocks in 2024 depends on various factors, including economic conditions, government policies, and global trends. It's advisable to consult financial experts or analysts for the most up-to-date insights.

  1. Are PSU bank stocks a safe investment?

PSU bank stocks are generally considered safer investments due to government backing and their role in the Indian banking system. However, like any investment, they carry some level of risk.

  1. Should I invest in PSU bank stocks for the short-term or long-term?

Whether to invest in PSU bank stocks for the short-term or long-term depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and market conditions. PSU banks can be suitable for both short-term and long-term investment strategies.

  1. How can I contact an expert for personalized investment advice?

To contact an expert for personalized investment advice, you can reach out to financial advisors, portfolio managers, or use online investment platforms that provide access to advisory services.

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