MUMBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Bank of India, the country's fourth-biggest lender by assets, reported on Thursday a surprise 70 percent fall in quarterly profit as bad loans jumped.
The lender, majority owned by the Indian government, said net profit fell to 1.73 billion rupees ($27.7 million) for the fiscal third quarter to Dec. 31, from 5.86 billion rupees a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a net profit of 8.06 billion rupees, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans widened to 4.07 percent, from 3.54 percent in the September quarter and 2.81 percent a year earlier.
Most state-owned lenders that have seen bad loans rising in the December quarter and some bankers have said the pain would continue for the next few quarters. Top lender State Bank of India will report its third-quarter results on Friday.
$1 = 62.4500 Indian rupees Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi