Aberdeen adds more assets to better margins

Michael Bow
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SCOTTISH-based money manager Aberdeen Asset Management yesterday said it had attracted £1.1bn more assets from customers in the last quarter as cash flowed into higher margin products, boosting revenues.

The FTSE 100 firm, said it had won £10.8bn of new business in the last three months of 2012, an increase of one fifth on the previous quarter. Outflows of £9.7bn meant a £1.1bn overall boost to net inflows.

Most of the cash flooded into its high margin equity desks, while low margin products saw outflows.

Aberdeen, headquartered in the granite city but renowned for its emerging markets expertise, estimated the trend for high margin products would add £30m to annual revenues through fee income.

Aberdeen has seen its share price surge more than 70 per cent over the past year as institutional investors, like pension funds, flooded cash into its flagship emerging market equity products.

Aberdeen has been a top stock pick in the listed fund management space but now trades at a 17 per cent premium to the sector average, leading analysts to sound a note of caution on its price.

Shares in the firm closed down 1.73 per cent as investors took profits yesterday. “Aberdeen is no longer cheap enough to be a buy on an absolute basis, but remains fairly attractive relative to most in the sector in our view”, Numis analyst David McCann said.