(Bloomberg) -- State Bank of India posted fourth-quarter profit that missed analyst estimate as bad loan provisions rose.

Net income stood at 91.1 billion rupees ($1.2 billion) during the March quarter compared with 64.5 billion rupees a year earlier. That lagged the average estimate of 101.8 billion rupees from 14 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

The country’s largest lender, which controls a fifth of India’s loan market, is a key gauge for the health of the nation’s financial sector. SBI has been focusing on building a relatively-safer retail loan book in recent years to protect the quality of its assets during the pandemic. 

SBI’s gross bad-loan ratio narrowed to 3.97% at the end of March from 4.5% three months earlier. However, it set aside 32.6 billion rupees in bad loan provisions, around 5% higher than the previous quarter.

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