India's Kotak Mahindra Bank third-quarter profit rises more than a fifth

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, India’s fifth-biggest bank by market capitalisation, reported a better-than-expected 22.6 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Monday, helped by higher interest income and a write-back of provisions made for mark-to-market losses.

Net profit came in at 12.91 billion rupees ($181.20 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with 10.53 billion rupees a year earlier, the Mumbai-based private-sector lender said here.

The profit compared with the 12.71 billion rupees average estimated by analysts, I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv showed.

Asset quality improved, with gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans standing at 2.07 percent at the end of December. That compared with 2.15 percent in the previous quarter and 2.31 percent a year earlier. ($1 = 71.2490 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chris Thomas in BENGALURU; Editing by Christopher Cushing