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ICICI Bank Earnings Increase 20% to Record as Margins Expand

ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC), India’s second-largest lender by assets, posted a 20 percent increase in second-quarter profit, beating analysts’ estimates as lending margins expanded.

Net income climbed to a record 23.5 billion rupees ($382 million), or 20.33 rupees a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, from 19.6 billion rupees, or 16.91 rupees, a year earlier, Mumbai-based ICICI said in an exchange filing today. That surpassed the 21.4 billion rupee median of 43 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

ICICI, led by Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar, expanded its loan book by 16 percent in the quarter as lower corporate lending rates helped win more companies after central bank measures to bolster the rupee caused money-market rates to surge. An increase in low-cost retail deposits helped the bank expand lending margins.

“The sharp expansion in margins surprised everybody,” Nitin Kumar, Mumbai-based banking analyst at Quant Broking Ltd., said by phone before the earnings were released. “The large share of low-cost deposits and retail lending is helping them.”

Shares of ICICI traded 0.8 percent higher at 1,029.10 rupees as of 1:55 p.m. in Mumbai following the earnings. The stock slumped 10 percent this year, less than the S&P BSE Bankex Index’s 13 percent drop.