India's HDFC Bank Q3 net meets forecasts with 30 pct gain

Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:41am EST

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Jan 18 (Reuters) - HDFC Bank, India's No.3 lender, met forecasts with a 30 percent rise in quarterly profit on Friday led by higher loan growth, better fee income and stable asset quality.

Mumbai-based HDFC Bank, which has posted profit growth of more than 30 percent every year for the last decade, said its net profit rose to 18.6 billion rupees ($342.4 million)in the quarter ended December from about 14.3 billion rupees a year earlier. Net interest income grew 21.3 percent to 38 billion rupees.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts had expected a net profit of 18.3 billion rupees for the bank, which is also listed in New York and competes with bigger local rivals State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.

Asset quality, valued by the market at about $29 billion, was stable with net non-performing loans as a percentage of total assets at 0.2 percent.

The bank's net interest margin, a key gauge of profitability, is among the highest in the sector. It aims to keep it in a range of 3.9-4.2 percent in the near term. The figure for fiscal third quarter was not immediately available.

($1= 54.2900 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Swati Pandey in MUMBAI; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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