Mumbai: Private sector lender ICICI Bank on Monday reported a steep 45 percent drop in March quarter net at Rs 1,142 crore, driven down by fresh slippages of around Rs 10,000 crore due to changes in asset classification norms. On a standalone basis, the bank, currently grappling with allegations of conflicts of interest involving chief executive Chanda Kochhar, saw its net profit halving to Rs 1,020 crore.
Asset quality worsened for the bank with the gross NPA ratio rising marginally to 8.84 percent but net NPA moved down marginally to 4.77 percent from from 4.89 percent in the year-ago period.
The bank had to set aside almost three times more in provisions at Rs 6,625 crore as slippages soared as against a low Rs 2,898 crore. But that helped the bank improve its provision coverage ratio to 60.5 percent from 53 percent.
Kochhar cited the 28 March board statement rallying behind her, a day before the news on the allegations against her began to appear in the media and further reports that led to multi-agency probes, and said she has nothing to add on to the board statement.
"The board did not discuss the issue," she said, termed the board meeting slated for tomorrow [today] as a "routine one" to discuss the growth strategy for the new fiscal year.
Kochhar also announced a new strategy revolving around "preserve, change and grow" with targets for March 2020 on various parameters.
For the reporting quarter, the bank added Rs 15,737 crore to the gross non-performing assets list, including Rs 9,968 crore coming in by way of an end to various regulatory dispensations on 12 February.
On 12 February, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a revised framework for resolution of stressed asset superseding its earlier guidelines, leading to accretion of NPAs.
The bank's overall exposure to the 40 select accounts referred by the Reserve Bank to be resolved under bankruptcy laws is Rs 15,229 crore and it has provided 50 percent against it, Kochhar said.
The drilldown list of assets in challenging sectors now stands at Rs 4,728 crore, down from an opening balance of over Rs 19,000 crore two years ago, Kochhar said. The gross NPA ratio shot up to 8.84 percent at March-end from 7.89 percent a year ago.
Kochhar said much of the stress from the changes in regulations is behind the bank and hinted at business as usual on NPA accretion front from here onwards. The bank is targeting to bring down net NPA to 1.5 percent and take the provision coverage ratio to 70 percent by March 2020. "The focus will be on recoveries and resolutions", she said.
The surge in bad assets restricted core income growth and net interest income was up marginally at Rs 6,022 crore despite a widening of margins to 3.24 percent and a 15 percent domestic loan growth. It was other income, which grew to Rs 5,678 crore from Rs 3,017 crore last year, thanks to the Rs 3,300- crore it netted from stake sale in the broking arm, that helped the bank's bottomline.
While retail book, which now contributes 57 percent of the loan book, grew 20 percent, corporate book was subdued at 5 percent. The bank is targeting to continue with similar growth even under the new plan, which also focuses on increasing unsecured loans of low base by nearly 40 percent.
Share of overseas loans declined to 12.6 percent and the bank is planning to trim it further down to 10 percent as it sees more domestic opportunities, Kochhar said. The share of low-cost current and saving account deposits grew to 51 percent and the bank is targeting to maintain it at over 45 percent by March 2020. Without naming the borrowers, she said the bank classified three accounts with an exposure of Rs 794 crore in the gems & jewellery sector as fraud during the quarter and Rs 289 crore has been provided against those.
The bank board recommended a dividend of Rs 1.50 per equity share. The bank counter gained 2.30 percent at Rs 289.40 on the BSE, as against a 0.84 percent rally on the benchmark Sensex. The earnings were announced after the market hours. The total income on consolidated basis rose to Rs 33,760 crore during the March quarter as against Rs 28,603 crore. However, standalone total income of the bank rose to Rs 19,943 crore in March quarter, from Rs 16,585.76 crore in preceding fiscal's last quarter.
For the full fiscal 2017-18, the bank's standalone net profit slipped by 31 per cent to Rs 6,777 crore as against Rs 9,801.09 crore in the previous fiscal. Its total income during the fiscal also declined to Rs 72,386 crore as against Rs 73,661 crore crore in 2016-17.
Updated Date: May 08, 2018 07:49 AM