State Bank of India (SBI) posted a more than four-fold jump in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, benefiting from better asset quality and a one-time gain from a stake sale in its card unit, sending the shares of the country's largest lender by assets up 8 per cent. The bank's gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans, a measure of asset quality, eased to 6.15 per cent from 6.94 per cent in the previous quarter, while provisions for bad loans fell 31.4 per cent to Rs 11,894 crore.
SBI's results are a bright spot for the country's bad loan-burdened financial sector that has been hit severely as the coronavirus forced a nationwide lockdown.
Soured assets across the industry are expected to double due to the crisis, news agency Reuters reported in May, citing sources.
Net profit for the three months ended March 31 jumped to Rs 3,581 crore ($474.46 million) from Rs 838 crore a year earlier.
The Mumbai-based bank recorded a gain of Rs 2,731 crore from selling a 4 per cent stake in SBI Cards and Payment Services last year, it said in a regulatory filing
Analysts had expected a profit of Rs 7,132 crore, according to Refinitiv data
It was not immediately clear if the numbers were comparable.
Net interest income slipped 0.8 per cent to Rs 22,767 crore, while net interest margin, a key measure of profitability, fell to 2.94 per cent from 3.02 per cent last year.
($1 = Rs 75.4757)