India HDFC Bank’s net profit jumps 19.8% in January-March

MUMBAI, April 15(Reuters) – HDFC Bank Ltd (HDBK.NS), India’s largest private lender, on Saturday reported a 19.8% jump in net profit for the January-March quarter, aided by healthy net interest income and robust loan growth.

Standalone net profit for the three months ended March 31 was at 120.48 billion Indian rupees($1.47 billion), up from 100.55 billion rupees in the same quarter a year earlier.

The net profit however missed street estimates. Analysts had forecast a profit of 132.12 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv data.

HDFC Bank, which bought its biggest shareholder in a $40 billion deal last year, said its net interest income – the difference between interest earned and interest expended – rose 23.7% to 233.52 billion rupees for the quarter.

Core net interest margin – a key indicator of bank’s profitability – stood at 4.1% on total assets in the reporting quarter.

Advances for its fiscal fourth quarter rose 16.9% year-on-year, aided by retail, commercial and rural banking loans, while deposits grew 20.8%.

HDFC Bank’s asset quality improved, with its gross non-performing assets (NPA) ratio at 1.12% from 1.23% in the prior quarter and 1.17% a year ago. Net NPA ratio was at 0.27% from 0.33% in October-December.

Provisions and contingencies fell to 26.85 billion rupees from 33.12 billion rupees last year.

Indian banks are now better placed to withstand stress as many have reduced bad debt and cleaned their books in the past few years, analysts have said.

HDFC Bank’s board also recommended a dividend of 19 rupees per equity share of 1 rupee for the year ended March 31, higher than 15.5 rupees declared last year.

Image by: REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

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