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SBI profits top estimates amid decline in bad debt



State Bank of India’s (SBI) quarterly profit rose 69% from the previous year, surpassing analyst estimates, amid heightened interest in the lender’s exposure to billionaire Gautam Adani.
Net income was 142.1 billion rupees ($1.74 billion) in the three months through December, as bad-loan ratio narrowed and income from loans rose, according to a statement from the bank. That beat an average estimate of 133.2 billion rupees in a Bloomberg survey.
Lenders are grappling with the fallout from the crisis engulfing Adani as his conglomerate’s shares and bonds tumble to new lows, heightening concern about the Indian tycoon’s access to financing.
State Bank of India has given loans of as much as $2.6 billion to companies in the Adani conglomerate, Bloomberg has reported. The lender sees no immediate challenge from its exposure, Dinesh Khara, the bank’s Chairman, has said.
While SBI’s underlying credit is healthy, the bank’s bonds may underperform rival ICICI Bank Ltd. if headwinds from Adani worsen, Rena Kwok, a Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst, wrote in a Jan 31 note.

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