Mumbai: Kotak Mahindra Bank Group Tuesday reported a 21 percent surge in net profit to Rs 717 crore in the October-December quarter, fuelled by an impressive performance by the flagship banking business that delivered a 37 percent growth in bottomline.
On a standalone basis, Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) posted a post-tax net of Rs 465 crore in the third quarter of 2014-15, up 37 percent over the year-ago period, helped by an upsurge in the money market.
The private lender posted Rs 130-crore profit from the treasury side as against a loss of Rs 18 crore in the year-ago period, and also a write-back of Rs 56 crore on provisions made earlier towards investments.
Asked about the progress on merger of South-based ING Vysya Bank with the bank, KMB Joint Managing Director Dipak Gupta said it has started the process of getting mandatory approvals for the proposed amalgamation and the exercise will take two more months to get over.
Whether the lender will be able to meet the April 1 target for getting the approvals, Gupta said, "hopefully, it should come thereabouts."
Asked if KMB is concerned about the discontent among ING Vysya employees, who are opposing the merger, he reiterated his bank's promise of abiding by the internal pacts concluded between the ING staffers and management.
"We have committed that whatever terms are there, post -merger, all of those will continue," he said, adding right now KMB does not have a "locus standi" to deal with the ING employees as the merger is yet to complete.
For the reporting quarter, Kotak Bank's core net interest income grew 16 percent to Rs 1,060 crore. Advances grew 22 percent, taking the asset book size to Rs 64,600 crore, with the corporate segment expanding the fastest at 33 percent and its stressed commercial vehicles and construction equipments sector showing marginal contraction.
Even though many lenders are saying corporate demand is yet to emerge, Gupta said there are initial signs of a revival in requirement for credit in this segment, while retail -- the mainstay for other banks -- is lagging for KMB.
The bank expects retail demand to rise once the corporate activity picks up, Gupta said, adding the forthcoming telecom spectrum auctions will accrue in non-fund based exposures of the bank.
With the share of low-margin corporate loans going up, there was contraction in the net interest margin at 4.7 percent in the third quarter, and Gupta said the bank hopes to maintain the NIM at over 4.5 percent in the future.
Among the Group subsidiaries, higher payouts to brokers resulted in a slip in the asset management company's performance, which reported a net loss of Rs 10 crore.
Kotak Mahindra Capital reported a net loss of Rs 6 crore, but Gupta said considerable work has been done by the investment banking arm during the quarter and profits will accrue only when the deals fructify.
The Group's life insurance venture reported a decline in post-tax profit at Rs 51 crore in Q3 as against Rs 60 crore over the same period last fiscal.
KMB scrip gained 0.52 percent to close at Rs 1,396.25 a piece on the BSE, whose benchmark index Sensex surged 1.85 percent to hit a life-time high today.