BENGALURU (Reuters) – Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC), India’s largest mortgage lender, reported a 13.2% rise in third-quarter profit on Thursday, missing estimates, as higher funding costs took the shine off strong housing loan growth.
Housing demand has remained strong in India despite a flurry of interest rates hikes last year, as a burgeoning rising middle class buys real estate. Increased funding costs, however, have compressed net interest margins and net interest income.
Profit rose to 36.91 billion rupees ($450.67 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to 32.61 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in an exchange filing.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 37.81 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Total expenses rose 37.3% to 106.35 billion rupees, mainly driven by higher finance costs that surged 41%.
HDFC, set to merge with India’s largest private lender HDFC Bank, said interest income climbed 30.8% to 144.58 billion rupees, while net interest margin for nine-months ended Dec. 31, stood at 3.5%.
Shares of the lender were largely steady after the results, trading 2% lower.
($1 = 81.9000 Indian rupees)