State Bank of India (SBI), the nation's top lender, reported its fifth consecutive quarter of declining profit as slower loan growth and a rise in bad loans take a toll on Indian lenders.
SBI, which accounts for about a quarter of India's loans and deposits, said standalone net profit fell about 8 per cent from a year earlier to Rs 30.41 billion ($519.8 million) in its fiscal fourth quarter to March 31, but ahead of analysts' estimate of Rs 28.03 billion
Net non-performing loans as a percentage of total assets rose to 2.57 per cent in March quarter from 2.1 per cent in the year-ago quarter, but was lower than 3.24 per cent for the December quarter.
Lenders in India are betting that a new government that is set to take over next week will help revive an economy facing its worst slowdown since the 1980s, spurring loan growth and checking a rise in bad loans.
SBI shares were trading 3.1 per cent up as of 1:10 p.m. in a Mumbai market that gained 0.65 pe rcent.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Matt Driskill)