ICICI Bank Limited , India's second- largest lender by assets, posted a record profit for the third quarter as consumer lending climbed. Net income rose 13 per cent to Rs25.3 billion ( $405 million ), or Rs21.85 a share, for the three months ended on December 31 , from Rs22.5 billion , or Rs19.42 , a year earlier, the Mumbai -based lender said in an exchange filing on Wednesday. That compared with the Rs24.8 billion median of 39 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg . Chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar aims to boost credit growth by focusing on retail lending as companies curtail borrowing amid the weakest pace of economic expansion in more than a decade. Kochhar has also reduced the lender's cost of funding over the past four years by attracting more retail deposits and reducing dependence on bulk deposits. "The bank is showing strong profit growth on the back of retail loans and treasury income," Hatim Broachwala, the Mumbai -based banking analyst at Karvy Stock Broking Limited , said by phone on Wednesday. "With a low cost-to-income ratio and strong retail deposit accretion, the bank is well poised to benefit the most when the economy revives." Shares of ICICI fell 1.7 per cent to Rs1,001.40 . The stock slumped 3.5 per cent in 2013, less than the 9.4 per cent drop posted by the 12-stock S&P BSE Bankex index, as the lender reported lower bad-loan ratios and higher risk buffers than some of its government-controlled competitors. The bank's gross bad-loan ratio shrank to 3.05 per cent by the end of December, from 3.31 per cent a year earlier, according to the statement. Soured debt at Indian lenders had climbed to 4.2 per cent of total loans as of September 30 , the highest in at least six years, data compiled by the central bank showed on December 30 . The ratio may widen to 4.6 per cent by September 2014 , the RBI said in a report last month. Total outstanding loans at ICICI increased by 16 per cent to Rs3.33 trillion at the end of December while retail loans grew by 22 per cent. "We have calibrated growth in loans to companies," Kochhar said in a conference call with reporters after the earnings were announced.
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