Mumbai– India’s largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Friday reported a 134.01 per cent increase in its standalone net profit to Rs 2,610 crore in the 2016-17 fiscal’s third quarter ended December 31, on low provisioning for bad loans and stake sale in SBI Life Insurance.

The net profit for October-December 2015 stood at Rs 1,115 crore.

Other income for the quarter includes gain of Rs 1,755 crore on the sale of 3.9 per cent stake held by bank in subsidary SBI Life Insurance. Consequently, the holding of the bank in the subsidiary has reduced to 70.10 per cent from 74 per cent.

Total provisions and contingencies stood at Rs 9,933 crore for the quarter, as compared with Rs 8,483 crore in the year-ago period. Provisions for bad loans reduced to Rs 7,245 crore in the quarter, from Rs 7,645 crore in the corresponding quarter, the company said in a filing to BSE.

“Non-performing assets (NPAs) have been well in control. We had estimated slippages of Rs 40,000 crore in the year and we have remained within the estimate,” SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told media persons here.

She said that the bank’s current account, savings accounts (CASA) and digital transactions got a susbtantial boost as a result of demonetisation.

“Demonetisation has given us a lot of advantage in CASA. Robust growth in auto and home loans was seen,” Bhattarcharya said.

CASA deposits increased from Rs 6,74,303 crore as on December 2015 to Rs 9,08,536 crore as on December 2016, registering a 34.74 per cent y-o-y growth.

Bhattacharya said that how much money will be withdrawn from the accounts will be known only after all the limits are removed post March 13, but expected lot of deposits in urban areas to be invested through the banking channel while the deposits in rural areas were likely to be withdrawn in cash.

“Deposits in rural areas will be withdrawn because there the transactions are mostly in cash. But in urban areas, much of the deposits has come from savings, that is unlikely to go away. It may be invested through the bank,” she said.

“But the actual withdrawals — how much will go, we do not know. After the withdrawal limit on savings go, then only we will come to know,” she added.

SBI’s gross non-performing asset (NPA) as a percentage of total loans rose to 7.23 per cent in the quarter under review, from 5.10 per cent in the year-ago period.

The lender’s asset quality during the December quarter deteriorated significantly as the NPAs in absolute term rose by nearly 48.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs 1,08,172 crore compared with Rs 72,792 crore in the same period in the last fiscal.

The bank’s operating profit in the quarter was at Rs 12,543 crore in the quarter, up 30.69 per cent from Rs 9,598 crore in the same period in the last fiscal.

Its net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, was up 7.70 per cent year-on-year at Rs 14,752 crore, compared with Rs 13,697 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Bank’s gross advances in the December quarter grew 4.81 per cent y-o-y to Rs 14,97,164 crore as against Rs 14,28,495 crore, the bank said in a statement.

It also said advances to large corporate in the quarter increased to Rs 3,08,283 crore, up 2.36 per cent from Rs 3,01,166 crore in same quarter last year.

Lender’s net interest margin declined to 3.03 per cent as on December 31 from 3.22 per cent in the year-ago quarter. (IANS)