ICICI Bank Third-Quarter Net Climbs 19% From a Year Earlier

ICICI Bank Ltd.’s third-quarter profit rose 19% from a year earlier, boosted by robust loan growth.

Net income at India’s second-largest private lender rose to 49.39 billion rupees ($677 million) in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from 41.5 billion rupees a year earlier, it said in a statement on Saturday. That beat the average estimate of 42.4 billion rupees from 17 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

ICICI Bank set aside 27.4 billion rupees in provisions during the quarter, compared with 20.8 billion rupees a year earlier. The bank’s gross bad loan ratio was 4.38% at end of December, compared with 5.17% three months earlier.

A top court barred Indian lenders from classifying their loans as non-performing from the start of September, which has masked the full extent of how much bad debt banks hold. Without that order, ICICI’s bad loan ratio would have been 5.42%, the bank said.

“The continued pickup in economic activity and tailwinds from the festive season combined with the bank’s digital initiatives and extensive franchise reflected in an increase in disbursements across retail products,” the lender added.

ICICI Bank, one of India’s biggest retail lenders, has been sharpening its focus on the relatively safe consumer business to grow its balance sheet.

“We are going to be focused on good customers irrespective of segments,” Sandeep Batra, an executive director with the bank said in a conference call on Saturday. “We will focus on a risk-calibrated growth. We are sector agnostic, we are size agnostic. We are not looking at sectors, we are looking at borrowers.”

To cushion their balance sheets, ICICI Bank and other private lenders raised equity capital last year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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