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ICICI Bank swings into black in first quarter on higher retail loan growth

ICICI, like its peers, also said India's ongoing economic slowdown weighed on its performance in the quarter

Nupur Anand | Bloomberg 

ICICI Bank

Ltd, India’s second-largest private lender, reported a quarterly profit on Saturday compared with a loss a year earlier, helped by lower provisions and higher retail loan growth.

Net profit for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30 was Rs 190.8 crore ($277.04 million), compared with a loss of Rs 120 crore in the same period a year ago, the bank said in a statement.

But the profit fell slightly short of the average forecast of Rs 208.7 crore from 19 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

ICICI, like its peers, also said India’s ongoing economic slowdown weighed on its performance in the quarter.

“From an economic scenario there is a bit of a slowdown in consumption as well as in auto sales,” said Sandeep Batra, Executive Director of in a conference call after the results. “However, the services sector continues to do well and we are seeing an improvement in the capital expenditure cycle.”

The bank’s corporate loan book grew at a pace of 13 per cent in the quarter, while its retail loan book grew 22 per cent in the period.

ICICI, which has been under pressure lately due to rising bad loans, said net non-performing assets (NPA) at the end of the June quarter were down 51 per cent to $1.17 billion. The net NPA was at a 14-quarter low of 1.77 per cent, said the bank’s management.

Quarterly provisions fell to $507 million from $865 million a year ago.

Net interest margin, a key indicator of the bank’s profitability, was 3.61 per cent in the quarter, compared with 3.19 per cent in the year-ago quarter.

The total capital adequacy ratio of the bank was 16.19 per cent and it does not have any immediate plans to raise capital, said Batra.

Earlier in the week, ICICI’s peer Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd also reported a profit that fell marginally shy of estimates, and joined the country’s largest private lender HDFC Bank in warning of the slowing pace of domestic growth.

The warnings from the private lenders in Asia’s third largest economy, which have been dealing with a large pile of stressed loans, have spooked investors.

First Published: Sun, July 28 2019. 12:20 IST
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