The stock of One97 Communications plunged over 13% in opening trade on Monday after the Reserve Bank of India barred the company from onboarding new customers with immediate effect. At 9:30 a.m., One97 Communications shares were trading at ₹686.25 apiece, down 11.43% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). In contrast, the BSE Sensex was quoting at 55,685, up 135 points, or 0.24%.
Shares of One97 Communications opened with a loss of 11.72% today against the previous closing price of ₹774.80 on the BSE. The stock price declined as much as 13.26% to touch an all-time low of ₹672.10 in the opening trade.
On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), One97 Communications shares were trading 11.46% lower at ₹686.25 after falling as much as 12.9% to hit a new low of ₹675 in early trade.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday directed Paytm Payments Bank to stop onboarding of new customers with immediate effect citing certain “material supervisory concerns”. The central bank also asked the payment bank to appoint an IT audit firm to conduct a comprehensive system audit of its IT system. The company had received RBI’s approval to operate as a scheduled payments bank in December last year.
In a separate development, the company’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma was arrested and subsequently bailed in February for allegedly ramming his car into the vehicle of South Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police. As per report, Sharma purportedly fled the scene soon after his Land Rover hit DCP Benita Marie Jaiker's vehicle outside Mother's International School in Delhi on February 22.
Meanwhile, the company, in a statement, said the "media reports claiming the nature of the arrest are exaggerated, as even the complaint against the vehicle was for a minor offence under a bailable provision of law."
Paytm shares had been under stress since its listing on the domestic bourses in November last year. The shares of Paytm’s parent company had plunged 69% as compared with its issue price of ₹2,150. The Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led company had raised Rs 18,300 crore in the country’s largest-ever initial public offering (IPO) so far, which had received tepid response from investors.
Several broakerages have revised downward the target price of One97 Communications, citing profitability concerns and widening losses. Analyst at Macquarie has revised target price to ₹700, citing that the dabbling in multiple business lines prevents Paytm from being a category leader in any business except wallets, which is becoming inconsequential given UPI’s meteoric rise as a digital payments alternative.
Meanwhile, brokerage firm ICICI Securities initiated coverage on One97 Communications on February 21, with a buy rating and a target price of ₹1,352.
Paytm, a financial services company backed by SoftBank Group and Alibaba, reported consolidated net loss of ₹778 crore for the third quarter ending 31 December, 2021, compared to loss of ₹482 crore in the September quarter and ₹532 crore in the year-ago period. Revenue from operations, howver, jumped 89% to ₹1,456 crore in Q3 FY22, as against ₹772 crore in the year ago period, driven by surge in merchant payments through MDR bearing instruments, new device subscriptions and loan disbursements.