Ashmore fails to shake off strife in emerging market economies

Michael Bow
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ASHMORE Group, the emerging markets-focused fund manager, failed to stem the tide of outflows last quarter, as a strong dollar compounded the firm’s woes.

Shares in the FTSE 250 company fell to a four-year low during trading, after dropping more than two per cent. Shares closed at 295.3p.

The business, founded by billion­aire emerging markets guru Mark Coombs, said investors pulled $300m (£188m) from Ashmore funds in the three months ending 30 September.

Total assets under management declined by 4.9 per cent to $71.3bn from $75bn at the end of June 2014.

Total assets this time last year were $78.5bn in comparison, while the group attracted an extra $600m from investors.

Coombs, who has previously said the weakness in emerging markets is a buying opportunity for the group, maintained an upbeat outlook.

He said: “Against this backdrop, the fundamentals in emerging markets continue to be supportive and many of the market uncertainties of the past year are being resolved…

“This provides a firm footing for Ashmore’s investment processes to take on risk and to deliver long-term investment performance for clients.”

He added that many market un­certainties – geopolitical risk, elections across the world’s biggest economies and the prospect of higher short-term interest rates – were “being resolved”.

Seven of Ashmore’s eight investment themes showed lower levels of assets during the period, with the group’s currency hedging product showing a 25 per cent fall and multi-strategy down 18 per cent.

Debt, one the main products Ashmore sells, did better with assets in blended debt up 0.5 per cent.

Ashmore recently opened a new office in Saudi Arabia to capitalise on growth in the Middle East and has also entered into an agreement with Source to provide emerging-market exchange traded funds.

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