ICICI Bank Ltd, India’s biggest private sector lender by assets, beat analyst estimates with a 10 per cent increase in quarterly net profit, but reported a worsening of asset quality, with the share of bad loans rising.
Indian banks have been hurt by two years of slower economic growth that led to projects being stalled and corporate balance sheets getting stretched. Demand for loans from companies has yet to pick up, although consumer loans are growing fast.
ICICI, which is also listed in New York, said net profit rose to Rs. 29.22 billion ($458.9 million) for its fiscal fourth quarter to end-March, from Rs 26.52 billion a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected the lender to report a net profit of Rs. 28.65 billion.
Gross bad loans ratio increased to 3.78 per cent in the March quarter, compared with 3.40 per cent in the third quarter. The bank’s provisions for bad loans jumped 88 percent from a year earlier, to Rs. 13.45 billion.
Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and paid, grew 17 per cent on year in the March quarter to Rs. 50.79 billion. Retail loans grew 25 per cent annually, faster than an 18 per cent growth in total credit demand for the bank.
ICICI Bank shares were trading down 2 per cent after the results, while the Mumbai market index was down 0.9 per cent.