UPDATE 1-Standard Chartered profits up, on track for 10th record year
* Q1-Q3 op profit up by mid-single digit, in line with f'cast
* Q1-Q3 income up by high-single digit rate
* Costs well controlled, even after NY settlement
* Impairment charge cut by tens of millions of dollars
* StanChart shares down 1.1 pct in Hong Kong
HONG KONG, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered said its operating profit grew by a mid-single digit rate in the first nine months of the year, putting it on track for a 10th straight year of record earnings.
Earnings would have risen by at least 10 percent if not for a $340 million settlement paid to New York regulators who threatened to strip the bank of its state licence over allegations it hid some $250 billion worth of transactions with Iran.
``Although the environment remains turbulent, we are in the right markets and continue to see good momentum across our businesses and geographies,'' CEO Peter Sands wrote in a third-quarter trading update on Tuesday.
The bank's forecast is roughly in line with full-year expectations for a 6 percent rise in pretax profit to about $7.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It does not release specific numbers in its quarterly updates.
Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Europe delivered a strong performance, the bank said, without elaborating. That offset weakness in India, Singapore's wholesale banking, and South Korea's consumer banking.
Rising household debt in South Korea - which now exceeds that of the United States before the subprime mortgage crisis - has prompted worries the country may soon see a spike in bad loans. In Singapore, the city-state narrowly escaped a recession in the third quarter.
Despite the slowdown, Standard Chartered said it reduced how much it put aside in case of bad loans - its impairment charge - by tens of millions of dollars. In the first half of the year, the bank set aside $583 million for impairment charges.
Standard Chartered said portfolio quality in its wholesale bank - which includes its investment bank and commercial bank - was good, though it was watchful in India and the Middle East.
Questions about Standard Chartered's asset quality arose after the bank made a $1 billion loan to the Indonesian chairman of London-listed Bumi Plc, triggering some concern over the bank's lending practices.
Costs remained under control, with revenue growth roughly in line with the increase in costs - a trend known as ``neutral jaws''. Standard Chartered was bogged down by rising costs in much of 2010 and 2011 as it expanded across Asia.
Standard Chartered shares in Hong Kong have risen about 9 percent this year, lagging the benchmark Hang Seng Index's 20 percent gain. The stock reversed earlier losses after the trading update on Tuesday, trading flat at around HK$186.50.