HDFC Bank reported a 32 per cent rise in quarterly profit as the No 2 Indian private sector lender rode robust loan growth, and analysts said they expected the bank to maintain the pace in the coming quarter.
The bank's net profit rose to Rs 819 crore in the December quarter from Rs 622 crore a year earlier, as its net interest margin improved to 4.3 per cent from 4.2 per cent.
Bad debt provisions fell 6 per cent in the December quarter from a year earlier, while
loans grew 21 per cent, the bank said.
In comparison, the banking sector's annual loan growth at the start of January was 13.7 percent after falling to 9.7 percent in October.
"We traditionally target growth rate of 3 to 4 per cent faster than the banking system. At the current pace, we expect to have a similar rate of credit growth by end of March," HDFC Bank Executive Director Paresh Sukthankar said.
Indian banks were mostly insulated from the global credit crisis, but the downturn hit the economy harder than expected leading to a sharp slowdown in credit growth.