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India's HDFC Bank Q2 net up 30 pct, meets forecast

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Oct 12 (Reuters) - HDFC Bank , India's No.3 lender,met forecasts with a 30 percent rise in quarterly profit, led bystronger loan growth, better fee income and stable net interestmargins.

Mumbai-based HDFC Bank, among the first lenders to reportSeptember quarter results, said on Friday its net profit rose to15.6 billion rupees ($296.18 million) in the fiscal secondquarter-ended September from about 12 billion rupees a yearearlier.

Net interest income grew 26.7 percent to 37.3 billionrupees.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts had expecteda net profit of 15.58 billion rupees for the bank, which is alsolisted in New York and competes with bigger local rivalsState Bank of India and ICICI Bank .

Asset quality at the bank remained stable with net nonperforming loans as a percentage of total assets at 0.2 percent,unchanged from a year ago.

Net interest margin, a key gauge of profitability for banks,stood at 4.2 percent in July-September, compared with 4.3percent in the June quarter. The bank aims to keep this figurein a range of 3.9-4.2 percent in the near-term.($1 = 52.6700 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Swati Pandey in MUMBAI; Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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Keywords: HDFCBANK RESULTS/