By Max Clarke

A ‘benign’ credit situation in Asia has helped international banking giant, Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) deliver double-digit income and profit growth for the first quarter 2011 over Q1 2010.

“Standard Chartered is on course to deliver another strong first half,” said the Group’s CEO, Peter Sands. “We anticipate delivering cost growth broadly in line with income growth for the first six months of 2011.”

The group continues to diversify its emerging markets portfolio, helping them overcome muted growth across Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. Asian growth, notably in China, Honk Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, offset any lulls in other markets.

Sands continued: “We are advantaged by a very strong balance sheet which remains highly liquid, very well capitalised, diverse and conservative; and are capturing increasing levels of business from our markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. ”

Profit growth has, as yet, failed to be accompanied by a growth in headcount as the company continues ‘at a managed pace’. Investments in personnel have been largely internal and remain below that of 2010.

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