India's ICICI Bank net profit jumps 37% as bad loan provisions drop

A man speaks on the phone outside an ICICI Bank branch in Kolkata, India, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

MUMBAI, Oct 22 (Reuters) - ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS), India's second-largest private-sector lender, reported a 37% rise in quarterly net profit on Saturday as loan growth inched up and provisions for bad loans fell.

Net profit for the three-months ending Sept. 30 rose to 75.58 billion rupees ($916 million), broadly in line with analysts' estimate of 73.51 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net interest income, which is the difference between interest earned and paid out, was 147.9 billion rupees, a rise of 26% on the year-earlier period, the bank said in a statement.

Advances grew 23% with the bank seeing robust demand across all segments including retail and commercial loans.

Loans increased across segments, including large corporate, although the bank was focusing on higher rated corporate borrowers, it said.

Credit growth at Indian banks continues to rise at its fastest pace in several quarters, up 16.4% year-on-year by Sept. 23, according to central bank data, even as the Reserve Bank of India hiked the repo rate by 190 bps this financial year.

ICICI Bank deposits grew at a slower pace of 12%. The lender is holding adequate liquidity and does not see deposit growth as constraint on the bank's overall growth, said executive director Sandeep Batra.

Net interest margin, a key indicator of a bank's profitability, was at 4.31%.

Gross non-performing assets dropped to 3.19% compared with 3.41% in the June quarter. Net non-performing assets fell to 0.61% from 0.70%.

The bank's board has approved the reappointment of chief executive officer Sandeep Bakhshi for a further three years effective October 2023, it said in a statement. The reappointment is subject to approval from the Reserve Bank of India.

($1 = 82.5290 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nupur Anand, Rajendra Jadhav and Ira Dugal; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mike Harrison

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.