Standard Chartered Plc said on Wednesday that operating profit before tax in the first nine months grew at a double-digit rate, helped by a strong showing in markets including Hong Kong and putting it in line for a ninth straight year of record earnings.

Income growth also grew faster than expenses during the period, with expenses in the third quarter largely similar to the level recorded in the first half, it said in a statement posted on the Hong Kong bourse.

"Despite recent macroeconomic events, our markets continue to exhibit strong growth and their growth credentials remain intact," StanChart Chief Executive Peter Sands said in the statement.

Weighing on the results was a weak performance in India, which overtook Hong Kong as its biggest profit contributor last year. South Korea, which was hit by a labour dispute earlier this year, was also muted, the bank said.

Singapore and Hong Kong continued to perform strongly, StanChart added.

For the full year, the bank is expected to see pre-tax profit rise by 12 per cent to $6.88 billion, according to a poll of 26 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The London-headquartered bank, which makes more than 80 per cent of its profit in Asia and other emerging markets, also said it had added staff during the year, in contrast to other lenders that have recently said they will start culling.

Credit Suisse Group AG said on Tuesday that it would cut 1,500 jobs and scale back on its capital-guzzling investment banking business, while rival HSBC Holdings Plc said in August that it would remove 30,000 job roles by cutting out some middle management.

StanChart did not give specific figures as it is only required to report those on a bi-annual basis.

The bank also said it did not have any direct sovereign exposure to Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece or Spain, and that such exposure to Europe as a whole was immaterial.

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