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

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

Mumbai-based HDFC Bank, among the first lenders to report September quarter results, said on Friday its net profit rose to 15.6 billion rupees ($296.18 million) in the fiscal second quarter-ended September from about 12 billion rupees a year earlier.

Net interest income grew 26.7 percent to 37.3 billion rupees.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts had expected a net profit of 15.58 billion rupees for the bank, which is also listed in New York and competes with bigger local rivals State Bank of India and ICICI Bank .

Asset quality at the bank remained stable with net non performing 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 4.3 percent in the June quarter. The bank aims to keep this figure in 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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