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ICICI Bank December-quarter net profit nearly trebles

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A security guard sits outside an ICICI bank branch in Mumbai
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By Nupur Anand

MUMBAI (Reuters) - ICICI Bank, the country's second largest private lender, reported a near trebling of its quarterly profit on Saturday, helped by a rise in retail loans and improving asset quality.

Net profit for the October-December quarter was 41.46 billion rupees ($583.37 million) compared with 16.05 billion rupees in the same quarter a year ago, the bank said in a statement.

The profit was lower than the 44.51 billion rupees that 24 analysts had expected on average, according to Refinitiv data.

Asset quality improved with gross non-performing assets (NPAs) falling to 5.95% of total assets compared with 7.75% a year ago. Net NPA also improved to 1.49%.

Net interest margin, a key indicator of a bank's profitability, stood at 3.77%.

($1 = 71.0700 rupees)

(Reporting by Nupur Anand; Editing by Sam Holmes)