India’s ICICI Bank beats forecast with nearly 40 pct profit rise

MUMBAI, April 27, 2008 (AFP) – India’s largest private-sector lender ICICI Bank on Saturday beat forecasts with a nearly 40 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit. Net profit for the three months ending March 31 rose 39.3 percent to 11.5 billion rupees (286 million dollars) from 8.25 billion rupees a year earlier, the New York stock exchange-listed bank said in a statement.

Most analysts had expected the bank to post net profit of around nine billion rupees for the quarter.

Total income for the bank rose 22.3 percent to 103.9 billion rupees, the Mumbai-based institution said, giving no further details.

Current and savings account deposits rose 27 percent to 637.81 billion rupees by March-end this year from 502.14 billion a year earlier.

“We have seen strong deposit growth and strong demand in retail fee deposits, which was our aim,” said Chanda Kochhar, the bank’s joint managing director.

“We see no change in the investment pipeline by Indian companies,” she said, suggesting that fund raising capacities for Indian companies would continue to be strong.

She also dismissed fears of ICICI Bank being hit by the global credit squeeze.