MUMBAI Feb 7 Punjab National Bank (PNB)
, India's fifth-biggest lender by assets, reported on
Tuesday a surge in third-quarter profit on lower provisions for
bad loans, but the profit fell short of analysts' expectations.
Net profit rose to 2.07 billion rupees ($30.7 million) for
the three months to Dec. 31 from 510.1 million rupees a year
earlier, the state-run lender said in a stock exchange filing.
Analysts on average had expected a net profit of 6.29
billion rupees, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans were 13.7
percent in the December quarter, little changed from 13.63
percent in September, but far higher than 8.47 percent a year
Banks such as PNB have seen a surge in their bad loans in
the past one year after an asset-quality review ordered by the
regulator in a bid to clean up the sector.
Provisions for bad loans were 33.63 billion rupees in the
December quarter, lower than 37.67 billion rupees a year
earlier, but higher than 22.18 billion rupees reported in the
PNB shares were trading nearly 2 percent higher by 0657 GMT
on the NSE index, which was down 0.2 percent.
($1 = 67.3700 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)