All but three of the 20 largest Asia-Pacific banks by market capitalization saw declines in their market cap in the fourth quarter of 2018 amid global stock market volatility towards the end of the year.
Indian private sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd., China's No. 5 bank by assets, Bank of Communications Co. Ltd., and Indonesian lender PT Bank Central Asia Tbk were the only three among the ranked companies to see an increase in their market cap.
There was no change among the top six positions of the ranking, as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. held on to the No. 1 spot with a market cap of US$269.34 billion, despite a 7.1% decline from September-end. Chinese stocks were among the worst performing globally through 2018, with the Shanghai Composite Index losing 25% of its value throughout the year.
China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., Bank of China Ltd., China Merchants Bank Co. Ltd. and Commonwealth Bank of Australia rounded out the next five spots on the list.
Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., which in late 2018 named the head of its main banking unit as its new president and group CEO, effective April, saw the largest quarter-over-quarter decline in market cap over the 2018 fourth quarter among the 20 ranked banks, losing 22.8% in value to US$63.11 billion.
Meanwhile, Bank Central Asia entered the top-20 list at the 16th position, the only Southeast Asian bank to make the rankings aside from Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings Ltd.
Japanese banks cost investors the most in the region, accounting for 14 of the 15 banks with the worst total returns in the 2018 fourth quarter. Shares of Daishi Hokuetsu Financial Group Inc. generated a total return of negative 42.9% in the quarter, the worst performing bank stock in the analysis.
Meanwhile, Indian bank stocks generated the best total return for investors in the Asia-Pacific, with Oriental Bank of Commerce topping the region with a total return of 55.4%.
Among the regional indexes, the SNL South Asia Bank index generated the best total return of 12.2%, while the SNL Japan Bank index was the worst performer, with a total return of negative 19.3%. Total return generated by the regionwide SNL Asia-Pacific Bank index was down 3.3% over the 2018 fourth quarter.