Emerging market fund Ashmore hit by global growth fears as profits and assets plummet

 
Billy Bambrough
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Emerging markets are continuing to rebalance as grow slows, with the rate deceleration in China spooking investors (Source: Getty)

Warnings over the health of China and emerging markets has taken its toll on the emerging markets focused fund Ashmore Group.

Assets under management fell by 16 per cent to $49.4bn, from $58.9bn in June 2015. The decline was due to a combination of net outflows of $5.7bn and an investment loss of $3.8bn.

Profits before tax fell 47 per cent to £62.7m.

Ashmore’s share price initially fell five per cent at the open, but has since recovered some ground, trading down 2.5 per cent half way through the session.

The fund’s share price has slumped by over a third since June last year.

The looming prospect of interest rate hikes in the US, the on-going commodities rout, and fears over a hard landing as China’s economy transitions from industry to consumption has driven investors Ashmore’s.

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China’s stock market has slumped by almost 40 per cent since hitting highs of over 5,000 in June last year.

Broader emerging market stocks have dropped nearly 30 per cent over the last year.

Ashmore's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 29 per cent to £68m, just beating forecasts of £64.2m.

Net revenue fell 29 per cent to £116.4m, against a forecast of £103.8m.

"Notwithstanding the effects that weaker markets and sentiment have had on asset under management levels, Ashmore's inherently flexible cost base has delivered good cash generation and enabled the profit margin to be maintained at a high level in the first half of the financial year. Markets have remained volatile in early 2016, and while this can provide great value-based investment opportunities, sentiment is likely to continue to be affected by the lower oil price and ongoing concerns about slowing global growth, particularly with respect to China," said chief executive Mark Coombs.

Read more: Is China the new Japan?

The reaction to the update has been mixed, with analysts beginning to see a glimmer of hope for the Group.

"We think the investment case is getting more interesting at these (share price) levels, albeit market movements so far in 2016 continue (to be) unhelpful," analysts at Shore Capital said in a client note.

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