India's PNB Housing Finance profit rises on mortgage demand, shares jump

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's PNB Housing Finance on Thursday reported a 11.7% increase in quarterly profit, helped by steady demand for mortgages even in the face of surging inflation and higher interest rates.

Demand for housing in India has held up despite rising borrowing costs, driven by rising household income and pandemic-led demand for home ownership.

The mortgage lender's consolidated net profit after tax stood at 2.63 billion Indian rupees ($31.92 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with 2.35 billion rupees a year ago.

Shares of PNB Housing, a unit of state-run lender Punjab National Bank, rose 6.7% to their highest since mid-February.

PNB Housing's net interest income jumped 29% to 6.49 billion rupees.

"The demand in the mortgage industry continues to remain robust," Chief Executive Officer Girish Kousgi said in a statement.

The company, which appointed a new finance chief and CEO earlier this month, said its asset quality also improved with gross non-performing assets as a percent of loan assets coming in at 6.06% from 6.35% in the first quarter.

($1 = 82.3990 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Anuran Sadhu and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru)