RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, India

Indian banks swing back into the black in Q4

Earnings hit $21.56m with private banks leading the quarterly gains.

Banks in India bounced back into the black after posting their first positive collective net profit in nearly a year during the quarter ending December 2018, reports The Times of India. Banking sector profit hit $21.56m (RS1.54b) to break the dry earnings spell that started when the central bank tightened rules on non-performing loans (NPL) in February 2018. 

Also read: Indian banks make headway in denting bad debt

Public sector banks (PSBs) trimmed their losses to $1.62b (RS116.05b) in Q3 from $2.06b (RS147.43b) in Q2. The number of PSBs who saw higher earnings rose to 11 from seven over the same period as led by SBI. However, ten banks remain in the red including IDBI Bank.

Also read: Indian state banks recover $5.23b of bad loans in Q1

On the other hand, private banks in India improved their gains after reporting a net profit of $1.65b (RS117.58b) as led by ICICI, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The growth of non-performing assets (NPAs) also crashed sharply to 8.4% in Q3FY19 from 30.4% in FY18 as asset quality stabilises and credit growth started picking up, data from CARE Ratings show. PSBs continued to hold more than thrice the amount of soured assets than their private counterparts as the former’s NPA ratio hit 13.09% compared to the latter’s 4.16% in Q3. 

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