HDFC Bank on Saturday fell short of Street estimates as it reported an 18.17 per cent growth in (internet hdfc bank)  net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2021. The country’s largest private sector lender posted a net profit of Rs 8,186.51 crore compared with Rs 6,927.69 crore in the same period of the previous year.

                            


Analysts had expected the lender to report net profit growth of around 21 percent during the period. This came as the net interest income (NII-interest earned less interest paid) grew 12.6 percent to Rs 17,120.2 crore against Rs 15,204.1 crore in the year-ago period. This jump was driven by growth in advances of 14 percent and a net interest margin of 4.2 percent. This was lower than the 15 percent growth in NII recorded during the preceding three months.

However, other income grew around 26 percent to Rs 7,593.9 crore from Rs 6,032.6 crore in the corresponding quarter ended March 31, 2020.

Of this, fees and commissions at Rs 5,023.3 crore showed an almost 20 percent (internet hdfc bank)   increase over the same period last year.

HDFC Bank is the first in the sector to report its scorecard for the year ended March 31, 2021.

However, in what would come as a disappointment to its shareholders, HDFC Bank did not announce any dividend for the year. The bank blamed this on the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic even as it also referred to an RBI circular issued in December last year.

“Given that the current second wave has significantly increased the number of Covid-19 cases in India and the uncertainty remains, the board of directors of the bank, at its meeting held on April (internet hdfc bank)   17, has considered it prudent to not propose dividend for the financial year ended March 31, 2021,’’ the bank said.

In December last year, the banking regulator had said that lenders should continue to conserve capital to support the economy and absorb losses. It had then said that banks should not make any dividend payment on equity shares from the profits pertaining to the financial year ended March 31, 2020.

However, the Reserve Bank of India  has not explicitly barred banks from declaring dividends for 2020-21.