* Pretax profit rises 78 pct to $814 mln
* Expenses rise 4 pct on reinvestment
* Loan impairments down 42 percent year-on-year (Recasts, adds share movement)
LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Higher expenses overshadowed better than expected quarterly profit for Standard Chartered on Wednesday, sending shares in the Asia-focused bank more than 5 percent lower.
The bank's pretax profit rose 78 percent compared with the third quarter a year ago to $814 million, higher than the $809 million average of analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The increase was largely because loan impairment charges fell 42 percent year-on-year as the bank avoided heavy losses from private equity and bad loans that hit earnings a year ago.
Impairment levels are closely watched by investors in the bank which has had a glut of bad debts in the past few years following over-exuberant lending.
The bank's rising expenses largely came from reinvestment as it tries to boost returns, it said on Wednesday.
Investors are hoping StanChart can begin to grow revenues again, after a two-year restructuring programme under former JPMorgan banker Bill Winters that has seen him slash more than 15,000 jobs and axe business lines such as Asian equities.
Low global interest rates, lost income from axed businesses and rising competition from regional players in its key markets have combined to temper hopes of higher income however.
The bank's core capital ratio, another closely-watched measure of financial strength, fell from 13.8 percent at the end of June to 13.6 percent.
StanChart had on Tuesday announced a reshuffle in its senior ranks, as it promoted Ben Hung to be its new global retail banking chief as Karen Fawcett retired. (Additional reporting by Emma Rumney, Ben Martin and John Geddie; Editing by Simon Jessop and Keith Weir)