Buoyant results . . . John McFarlane, group executive director at Standard Chartered Bank, says a fall in bad and doubtful debt provisions has boosted the bank's pre-tax profits by 35 per cent to GBP319 million (about HK$3.95 billion). Hong Kong contributed 36 per cent of group pre-tax profit, with operating profit in the territory rising 16 per cent to HK$1.4 billion. The territory remains the strategic platform for group growth, administrative processing and new product distribution in Asia Pacific.