Bad loans hurt Indian state banks, push SBI to surprise Q3 loss

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Public sector lender Bank of Baroda today registered a decline of 56 per cent in its net profit at Rs 112 crore for the third quarter ended December.

Over Rs 25,000 crore of loans slipped into the non-performing assets category in the reporting quarter, driven primarily by under-reporting of NPAs or divergence of Rs 23,330 crore for the previous fiscal.

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In absolute terms, SBI reported a seven percent increase in gross NPAs to Rs 1, 99,141.34 crore and 4.6 percent rise in net NPAs to Rs 1, 02,370.12 crore.

The central bank has pushed about 40 of the biggest corporate loan defaulters into India's new bankruptcy proceedings and said creditor banks must ensure at least 50 percent of bad loans with those firms were provisioned by March. The gross NPA ratio crossed double digits at 10.35 per cent from 7.23 per cent a year ago. Higher provisions for stressed assets ate into the bank's bottomline even as interest income of the bank remained low. This was contrary to Bloomberg analysts' expectations of a net profit of Rs 2,059 crore, Moneycontrol reported. He added that there may also be cases where there can be a write-back of money already set aside.

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Bad loans at Indian banks have almost doubled in the past four years as an economic slowdown took its toll on the ability of companies to repay debt, exacerbated in the case of some banks which analysts said had expanded lending too fast.

The capital adequacy ratio (CRAR) for the quarter was 11.55 percent as against 12.55 percent in the previous quarter. The ratio of bad loans jumped to 5.61 per cent of advances from 4.24 per cent.

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On the operations side, the core net interest income grew 5.17 per cent to Rs 18,688 crore on a sequentially higher net interest margin of 2.45 per cent, while the other income plummeted 29.75 per cent to Rs 8,084 crore on account of treasury operations.

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