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State Bank Of India Q1 Net Falls 32 Per Cent, Bad Loans Up

The lender, which accounts for more than a fifth of India's total bank loans and deposits, said standalone net profit was 25.21 billion rupees for the three months to June 30

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State Bank of India, the nation's biggest lender by assets, posted a smaller-than-expected rise in bad loans and a quarterly-profit slide that was in line with expectations, sending its shares up as much as 9.2 percent.

The lender, which accounts for more than a fifth of India's total bank loans and deposits, said on Friday standalone net profit fell 32 percent to 25.21 billion Indian rupees ($377.40 million) for the three months to June 30, roughly matching analysts' estimates of 25.4 billion rupees.

Indian banks have seen a surge in their bad loans this year after an asset quality review ordered by the regulator Reserve Bank of India which wants all bad and stressed loans to be fully provided for by March 2017.

While additions to bad loans may have peaked out, analysts say requirement of higher provisions and credit costs will keep the dominant state-run banking sector under pressure, helping the private sector lenders gain ground.

State Bank of India has performed better than other state-run lenders in managing its bad loans. It is also better placed due to a higher share of low-cost deposits, a comfortable capital ratio and improving operating profitability, Goldman Sachs said in a report this month.

Its gross bad loans rose 3 percent quarter-on-quarter to 1.02 trillion rupees as of end-June. Central Bank of India, the ninth-biggest state lender, by comparison, posted a more than 10 percent sequential rise in gross bad loans.

State Bank's gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans rose to 6.94 percent as of end-June, from 6.50 percent in March. Provisions for bad loans fell to 63.4 billion rupees in the June quarter from 121.39 billion rupees in the March quarter.

The lender had said it had 310 billion rupees of loans from sectors such as steel and power under "special watch" status for potential trouble, on top of 1.37 trillion rupees of stressed loans as of March. It is expected to give an update on the numbers later on Friday.

State Bank shares rose to as much as 247.95 rupees, before trimming gains to be up 8 percent at 245.45 rupees by Friday afternoon. It was the stock's biggest one-day percentage gain since March 2.

Central Bank of India and state-run Bank of India posted on Friday first-quarter net losses.

(Reuters)