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ICICI Bank Q3 Net up 14%; bad loans jump

On a standalone basis, the bank's post-tax net rose by a similar 14 percent to Rs 2,889 crore in the third quarter ended December 2014.

ICICI Bank Q3 Net up 14%; bad loans jump

Mumbai: ICICI Bank Friday reported a 13.7 percent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 3,265.32 crore for three months to December, helped by better performance of subsidiaries even as concerns emerged over bad loans.

It had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 2,872.30 crore for the October-December quarter of last fiscal.

On a standalone basis, the bank's post-tax net rose by a similar 14 percent to Rs 2,889 crore in the third quarter ended December 2014.

The lender's gross non-performing assets ratio moved up to 3.40 percent. ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar blamed this on the prolonged tepidness on the macro-front, which she said is forcing recast assets to slip into Non-Performing Assets (NPAs).

Kochhar said the bank's fresh slippages stood at Rs 2,279 crore in third quarter, with almost a third of it, or Rs 776 crore, coming from advances restructured in the past.

The bank's core net interest income rose 13 percent to Rs 4,812 crore, helped by retail advances growth which jumped 26 percent and a marginal increase in net interest margins at 3.46 percent.

The city-headquartered bank, India's largest private lender, witnessed a fresh restructuring of Rs 1,755 crore during the quarter, as against Rs 2,300 crore a year ago.

She said this trend of restructured assets slipping into NPAs is expected to continue for another 2-3 quarters.

The progress in the economy generally gets converted into improvement in cash flows for the companies, which will then get transmitted into an improvement in the asset quality, Kochhar said.

In the non-interest income side, a jump in dividends from subsidiaries pushed up the other income head by 50 percent to Rs 538 crore as against Rs 357 crore in the year ago period, while fee income saw a subdued 6 percent improvement and treasury income was flat at Rs 443 crore.

On the outlook on asset quality, Kochhar said for the full fiscal the bank will have lower restructured assets and fresh slippages than FY14, but stressed that the computation for FY15 should exclude recast assets slipping into NPAs.

On the performance of group subsidiaries, she said the life insurance arm witnessed a rise in PAT to Rs 462 crore during Q3r, up from Rs 428 crore, while for the general insurance company, the same moved to Rs 176 crore from Rs 76 crore in the year-ago period.

ICICI Bank scrip closed 5 percent down at Rs 361.15 on the BSE, whose benchmark Sensex tanked 1.68 percent.

Kochhar said there have been encouraging developments, like the ordinance for raising the foreign holding cap in insurance to 49 percent and the bank is examining all options on how to unlock value.

The options include talks with existing partners to raise their stakes, getting new investors either through an IPO or otherwise, she said, adding the bank is in discussion with the partners and advisors.

The asset management arm reported a 43 percent surge in profit, while the securities business witnessed its profit doubling to Rs 76 crore.

Asked if the lender may consider a tie-up with a payments bank applicant as done by its smaller rival Kotak Mahindra Bank, Kochhar said it is exploring all options.

On outlook on the rates, Kochhar said the conditions are such that borrowers should start expecting a downward movement on rates. However, but refused to comment on the way forward on the same for her bank, saying the committee concerned will take a call.

She said ICICI Bank will not be impacted by the recent RBI circular on base rate computation as the lender takes the deposit bucket, which has the highest accretion of deposits, for reviewing the minimum rate of lending.

The bank's total capital adequacy ratio stood at 17.5 percent, including the profit, for the first nine months of the fiscal and this included 12.96 percent in core tier-I.

The bank continues to have a calibrated approach when it comes to expanding corporate and SME loan books, Kochhar said, adding almost the entire Rs 6,000 crore of fresh lending this quarter was driven by retail.

There was a growth of 4 percent in the corporate advances during third quarter, she said, adding the segment's total share in loan book has come down to 29 percent as against retail's 41 percent, 25 percent for overseas, which includes corporates and more than 4 percent for SMEs.

Kochhar, however, said the corporate demand is slowly coming back as the bank is noticing some proposals for working capital requirements.