Higher provisions slow down SBI third quarter PAT

Gross NPAs at Rs 53,457 crore

The country's premier lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday reported slower growth in its net profit by 4.08 percent to Rs 3,396 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012  on the back of higher provisioning for bad loans  as compared with Rs 3,263 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

Total income of the bank during the quarter under review rose to Rs 33,992 crore from the corresponding period a year ago at Rs 29,787 crore. However, SBI's Net Interest Income (NII) declined to Rs 11,154 crore during the quarter from Rs 11,518 crore in the year-ago period.

In a statement issued, SBI said its total provisioning during the quarter stood at Rs 4,394.70 crore up from the comparable quarter of previous fiscal at Rs 3,996.97 crore. In this, provision for bad loans went up 46 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 2,766 crore, while the same was at Rs 3,000 crore a year back, which excluded a write-back of investment provision at Rs 870 crore.

The gross non-performing assets (NPAs), which represent portion of bad loans, stood at Rs 53,457 crore at the end of December, up from Rs 40,098 crore in the year ago period.

The gross NPA rose to 5.30 per cent during the quarter, from 4.61 per cent in the year ago period, while the net NPA was at 2.59 per cent of loans in the December quarter as against 2.44 percent in the year ago period. However, both ratio improved when it is compared year-on-year basis.

Commenting on SBI results, Angel Broking's Vaibhav Agrawal said: "Over the last one year, the bank has been aggressively cutting its base rate, which has impacted its interest margin. Its strong CASA base will help protect its interest margin. However, we need to see whether the lender manages to control its NPAs next quarter. Ideally, those should improve."
At a time when most of the banks are struggling to garner public deposits - a cheap source of funds, SBI increased its deposits nearly 16 percent YoY to Rs 11.56 lakh crore. Its current and savings account (CASA) ratio stood at around 45 percent.

During this quarter, SBI's capital adequacy ratio declined to 12.21 percent as against 12.63 percent in the previous quarter.

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