(Bloomberg) -- HDFC Bank Ltd.’s quarterly profit rose 18%, buoyed by strong loan growth, as the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout waned.

Net income for the quarter ended September stood at 88.3 billion rupees ($1.17 billion), compared to 75.1 billion rupees a year ago, according to an exchange filing on Saturday. That beat the average estimate of 86.50 billion rupees by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

The Mumbai-based lender is the country’s first bank to report second-quarter earnings, setting the pace for a slew of results that may provide clues on the recovery path following the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. HDFC Bank is looking to boost its retail lending portfolio in contrast to the conservative approach over the past year when the pandemic had hit businesses and curbed borrowers’ ability to repay loans.

The bank’s loans grew 15.5% from a year ago, about three times the banking sector’s rate. Its gross bad loan ratio narrowed to 1.35% at the end of September, from 1.47% in the prior quarter. It set aside 39.2 billion rupees toward provisioning in the September quarter, down from 48.3 billion rupees three months before.

Read more about HDFC Bank’s plan to double retail loans

The bank’s retail push also coincides with a recent removal of a ban by the Reserve Bank of India on issuing new credit cards. However, the central bank has retained its curb on launching new online products by the bank after repeated technology glitches.    

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