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ICICI Bank Q2 Profit Rises 12 per centt on Retail Loans Growth

... Reuters:

ICICI Bank Ltd(ICBK.NS), India's top private sector lender by assets, reported a 12 percent increase in quarterly profit due to faster retail loans growth.

The bank also said on Friday it agreed to sell a 9 percent stake in its general insurance joint venture to partner Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FFH.TO) in a deal that would value the venture - ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd - at $2.6 billion.

India's banking sector has been hobbled by slower loan growth and a surge in bad loans as economic growth slowed in the past three years.

State-run lenders who dominate the nation's banking system with a more than 70 percent share of loans, also account for bulk of the bad loans estimated at nearly $50 billion.

Among the private sector lenders, ICICI, which is also listed in New York (IBN.N), has the highest bad loans in absolute terms.

ICICI's gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans were 3.77 percent in the September quarter, compared with 3.68 percent in the previous three months. The bank has previously said it had stepped up monitoring and recovery of bad loans and was reducing concentration of top corporate borrowers.

Net profit rose to 30.3 billion rupees ($465 million)for its fiscal second quarter to Sept. 30 from 27.09 billion rupees reported a year earlier, ICICI said in a statement.

Analysts on average had expected the lender, categorised by the central bank as one of the two "too big to fail" banks, to report a net profit of 30.24 billion rupees.

Net interest income in the September quarter grew 13 percent on year on the back of a 17 percent growth in domestic loans. Retail loans within the total grew at a faster pace of 25 percent from a year ago period.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd (KTKM.NS), India's fourth-biggest private sector lender by assets, earlier on Friday posted a 28 percent increase in quarterly profit and a stable bad loan ratio. 

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