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'HDFC Bank Ltd. Friday topped market expectations to report a 30% jump in its fiscal-third- quarter net profit, aided by strong demand for loans, especially from individual borrowers.'

'India's top lenders are likely to post strong profit growth in the quarter ended Dec. 31, aided by consumer demand for mortgage and vehicle loans in the festival months of October and November--a period considered by many as auspicious to buy assets.

On the other hand, demand for funds from companies has been weak, as a slowing economy led them to defer or cancel investments in capacity expansion.

For HDFC Bank, loans grew more than 24% from a year earlier to 2.41 trillion rupees as of end-December. More than half of that comprised loans to its retail customers for buying new vehicles or small business loans.

Growth in retail loans will continue to outpace that in corporate loans for some time, Executive Director Paresh Sukthankar told reporters on a conference call.'

'HDFC posted a net interest margin of 4.1% in the past quarter. The margin, broadly the difference between yield on loans and interest paid on deposits, will likely remain in a 3.9%-4.2% range in future, the bank said.'

'The bank has reported at least 30% profit growth every quarter in the past decade.'!
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