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BENGALURU – Manappuram Finance, one of India’s biggest gold-loan providers, reported a bigger-than-expected rise in third-quarter profit on Wednesday, aided by strong demand in its non-gold business like auto and housing loans.

The gold-loan financier’s profit rose roughly 46% to 5.73 billion rupees ($69 million) in the quarter, beating analysts’ expectation of 5.35 billion rupees, according to LSEG data.

The October-December quarter included some key festivals that typically spur demand. Most Indian lenders have reported double-digit loan growth for the period.

Manappuram’s interest income rose nearly 33% year-over-year to 22.01 billion rupees in the quarter.

The company has focused on building its non-gold loans portfolio for the past few quarters due to stiff competition for gold loans since the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has said it wants the two loan segments to be equal in terms of assets managed, a target it nearly met in the quarter. The non-gold loan portfolio accounted for around 49% of its assets under management (AUM), up from about 47% in the previous quarter and 44% two quarters back.

Manappuram’s total AUM was 404 billion rupees as of Dec. 31, increasing from 390 billion rupees during the previous quarter, boosted mainly by its microfinance and vehicle finance business.

Its expenses rose nearly 30% to 15.40 billion rupees, mainly due to a 32% rise in finance costs as the central bank has kept key lending rates steady after a slew of rate hikes since May 2022.

Larger rival Muthoot Finance will report its third-quarter results next week. ($1 = 82.9603 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nishit Navin in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

  • Published On Feb 7, 2024 at 06:20 PM IST

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