November 2, 2018 / 7:10 AM / 16 days ago

Fraud-hit Indian lender PNB logs third straight quarterly loss

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Punjab National Bank (PNB) reported a third straight quarterly loss on Friday, as India’s second-largest state lender by assets set aside more money to account for a massive fraud.

Net loss came in at 45.32 billion rupees ($622.74 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of 5.61 billion rupees a year earlier, the bank said in a statement here

The loss was much bigger than an estimated average loss of 14.38 billion rupees based on the views of 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

PNB said earlier this year that staff at a Mumbai branch issued fake bank guarantees between 2011 and 2017 to help the firms of Indian diamond magnate Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi raise billions of dollars in foreign credit. ($1 = 72.7750 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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