Aberdeen flies past £200bn asset barrier

 
Michael Bow
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ABERDEEN Asset Management, the FTSE 100 money manager, was top riser on the index yesterday after attracting a further £3.5bn from investors in the first two months of the year to go past £200bn in assets.

Aberdeen, headed by chief executive Martin Gilbert, saw £4.3bn more cash flow into equity funds over January and February, cushioning falls in fixed income and alternative investments.

The group also hinted that measures put in place to slow down flows into its red hot emerging market equity funds had led to a “considerable reduction” in flows.

The increase in assets under management, supported by £7.3bn more through market movements and better performance, caused Aberdeen’s share price to rise 6.2 per cent yesterday, putting it top of the blue chip riser list.

Assets under management at the firm now stand at a considerable £212bn, up ten per cent from the end of December 2012 when they were £193bn.

The group, which grew from its roots serving the oil and gas industry in the granite city, put the numbers out ahead of a close period before it publishes interim results for the six months ending 31 March at the end of April.

Aberdeen hit the acquisition trail over the period, snapping up US fund manager Artio Global Investors and taking a 50 per cent stake in SVG Advisers last month, but both deals will not feed into results until later in the year.

Analyst views | What do you think of the results?

ARUN MELMANE CANACCORD GENUITY

Aberdeen remains our top pick in the asset management sector as it provides both a rising earnings per share to justify valuations and a rising dividend distribution metric for shareholders. Management’s commitment to focus on an efficient balance sheet should support the valuation.

STUART DUNCAN PEEL HUNT

With profits growing, the scope for higher dividend payments remains. There is clear earnings momentum with Aberdeen, driven by the strength of the flows, although we consider this is already largely in the price for now and therefore we retain our “hold” recommendation.

PHIL DOBBIN ESPIRITO SANTO

Equity funds [saw] a net inflow of £4.3bn which remains at super normal levels. This quarter has clearly been strong for net flows...but the indication from the company is that net flows into global emerging market products are likely to move to a more normal level.