India's Karnataka Bank shares jump on upbeat quarterly results

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Shares of Karnataka Bank jumped as much as 20% on Wednesday, marking their biggest percentage gain in over 13 years, after the private lender more than tripled its quarterly profit.

Net profit soared over 225% to 4.12 billion Indian rupees ($49.8 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, hitting a record high, the company said in an exchange filing after markets closed on Tuesday.

"The significant jump in net profit is mainly because of improved earnings, improved asset quality, healthy growth of advances and cost containment," Chief Executive M. S. Mahabaleshwara said in a statement.

The bank's fiscal year 2023 first half earnings has surpassed the profits it posted for the whole of last year, he added.

Net interest earned in the September quarter rose 14% to 17.71 billion rupees, while interest margin improved to 3.56% from 3.15% last year.

Asset quality was also better, with bad loan ratio shrinking to 3.36% from 4.03% in the June quarter.

Major Indian banks have reported strong profit growth in the September quarter as lending improved despite a slew of rate hikes by the central bank to tame high inflation.

Shares in Karnataka Bank have already gained nearly 53% so far this year.

($1 = 82.6850 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)