Public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) is expected to report a profit of 4,840.8 crore in the March quarter of FY19 on Friday, over a net loss of 7,718 crore in the same period last year, according to a Bloomberg estimate of 19 analysts.

SBI had reported its biggest-ever quarterly loss on higher provisions in Q4 last year. It had reported a net loss of 7,718 crore for the quarter ended 31 March, the second highest quarterly loss reported by an Indian bank.

Reliance Securities expects SBI’s credit growth to remain healthy led by retail and corporate credit. It added that the lack of large recoveries by the bank will limit improvement in its gross non-performing assets (GNPA) numbers. Moreover, SBI’s credit costs are expected to remain high owing to ageing of NPAs. The brokerage predicts that SBI will report a gross NPA ratio of 8.1% and a net NPA ratio of 3.6%.

In March 2018, the bank forecast that by March 2020, it would bring down its gross bad loan ratio to below 6% from the current 10.91%, and its net bad loan ratio to less than 2.3% from 5.73% now.

Meanwhile, brokerage Elara Capital expects SBI to post a net profit of 4,254.2 crore in the March quarter of FY19.

Another thing to be watched out for in SBI’s results is the impact of the default by Jet Airways on its books. Of around 8,000 crore that the airline owes banks, SBI’s exposure is close to 2,000 crore. While private sector lender ICICI Bank recently said that Jet Airways was classified as non-performing asset (NPA) in the fourth quarter of 2018-19, it is to be seen if SBI takes a similar step. This would add to the bank’s provisions and bad loan numbers.

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