Axis Bank Ltd, India's third-biggest private sector lender by assets, reported a surprise fourth-quarter loss, plagued by a rise in provisions for bad loans. This is the first time the bank has posted quarterly loss since its listing in 1998.
The bank had, however, registered a net profit of Rs 12.25 billion in the same quarter of fiscal ended March 2017.
The lender substantially raised its provisioning to cover for bad loans and contingencies during the quarter to Rs 71.79 billion, while it had parked aside
Rs 25.81 billion in the same quarter a year ago, it said in a regulatory filing.
Total income of the bank during January-March 2018 stood at Rs 145 billion, slightly up from Rs 141.81 billion earned in the same period of 2016-17.
Also for the entire fiscal 2017-18, the bank's a net profit fell by 92.5 per cent to Rs 2.75 billion. It had a net profit of Rs 36.79 billion in fiscal ended March 2017.
Total income during the fiscal increased to Rs 567.47 billion, from Rs 562.33 billion.
On asset front, the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at 6.77 per cent of the gross advances by end of March 2018 as against 5.04 per cent in year-ago period.
In absolute terms, gross NPAs were Rs 342.48 billion as on March 31, 2018, up from Rs 212.80 billion as on end-March 2017.
Net NPAs or bad loans percentage stood at 3.40 per cent (Rs 165.91 billion) from 2.11 per cent (Rs 86.26 billion).
The Net Interest Income (NII) in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal was flat at Rs 47.30 billion, the bank said.
Axis Bank's shares ended at Rs 494.55 apiece on the BSE, down 0.77 per cent over yesterday's close.