MUMBAI 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 earlier.
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 September quarter.
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)