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Axis Bank posts highest quarterly loss since its listing

30 April 2018, 03:46 | Melanie Burgess

AXIS Bank Ltd slips to Q4 loss of Rs. 2188.74 crores

YES Bank reports 29% jump in net profit at Rs 1,179 crore in Q4 results

Axis Bank reported its first ever loss of Rs. 2,189 crore in the quarter ended March 31, due to an nearly threefold increase in provisions.

At a time when the system is content at achieving a low double-digit credit growth, Yes Bank's credit growth stood at an impressive 53.9 per cent, which was the primary reason for pushing its net interest income up in the reporting quarter by 31 per cent to Rs 2,154 crore.

Healthy growth in its net interest income (NII), which is the difference of interest earned over interest expended, resulted in a higher profit for the Mumbai-based lender although provisions against bad loans surged by a steep 30 per cent. For the financial year ended March 31, the lender posted a 93 per cent fall in net profit to Rs 276 crore.

As on March 31, 2018, the bank's gross NPA and net NPA levels rose to 6.77 per cent and 3.40 per cent from 5.28 per cent and 2.56 per cent as on December 31, 2017 respectively.

The bank has an exposure of Rs 440 crore to the Anil Ambani group's Reliance Naval, whose auditors yesterday had raised concerns on the viability of its business as a "going concern", Kapoor said, stressing that it has adequate securities in the account. It had a net profit of Rs 3,679.28 crore in fiscal ended March 2017.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Jairam Sridharan, chief financial officer at Axis Bank, said, "It's our only quarterly loss to date".

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Corporate lending slippages stood at Rs 13,938 crore.

It was successful to increase its provision coverage ratio by 5 percentage points in a single quarter to 58 and exuded confidence of breaching the 60-percent mark in the next six months.

MD and CEO Shikha Sharma said that the bank's performance with regard to credit risk was disappointing.

As per Ghosh, the bank is targeting to "minimise" its bad loans ratio and relying more on tracking the daily on-time repayment rate (OTR) to achieve the goal and deploying more field force. "Many analysts at leading brokerages seem to believe that the worst is over for Axis Bank and expect the bank to step up stressed loan recovery after recognizing the stressed assets this quarter". The watch list of the bank was reduced by 92% to Rs 498 crore.

The stock has fallen 12.6 percent so far this year compared to a 1.6 per cent rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index. Axis Bank shares are now up 6% at Rs 524.50.

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