Ashmore assets slump again as markets drag

Michael Bow
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ASHMORE Group continued to feel the heat from emerging markets yesterday after funds under management fell for the third quarter in a row.

The company, led by reclusive billionaire founder Mark Coombs, saw total assets fall 4.1 per cent to $61.1bn (£41.3bn) in the three months ending March.

Investors delivered the biggest blow, pulling $2bn from the struggling group while its fund managers lost $600m from their investment bets.

However, Coombs remained upbeat about the prospects for the group.

“Those investors willing to look beyond short-term price volatility and to focus on fundamentals are benefiting from the recent recovery in markets,” Coombs said.

“However, some investors remain cautious given continued uncertainties such as the timing and impact of higher US interest rates.”

FTSE 250-listed Ashmore runs eight different investment strategies for a variety of funds investing in stocks, bonds and currencies from markets like China. India, Africa and South America.

The group’s seven corporate debt mutual funds and other corporate debt investments saw an eight per cent slump in money invested, down to $6.8bn.

However, shares in the group closed up 2.7 per cent yesterday after a positive reaction from analysts.

Stock analysts from Numis and JP Morgan increased their price targets on the stock after the announcement.

Jonathan Richards, analyst at broker Cantor Fitzgerald was also upbeat: “We view Ashmore as a premium manager in the emerging market debt space, which we believe will re-rate once volatility subsides.”