Ashmore surprises with record flows buoyed by state funds

Michael Bow
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EMERGING market money manager Ashmore yesterday defied expectations to enjoy its strongest quarter of inflows ever, helped by growing interest from sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

The manager, which saw a big boost to its local currency and corporate debt funds this quarter, said assets under management grew 9.4 per cent in the three months ending March, taking total cash under its wing to $77.7bn (£50.5bn).

The $7.3bn inflow is well above last quarter’s inflow of $1bn. For the same period last year, it attracted $1.2bn and in 2011 inflows for the third quarter were $2.3bn, while 2010 saw $800m flow into the funds.

The group’s strategy of targeting domestic investors in overseas territories where it operates seems to be paying off.

The firm said increased interest from SWFs in the emerging markets had helped drive the impressive inflows.

But analysts at Numis said lower fee margins on funds and the fact SWFs can negotiate lower fees would be a short term challenge for the FTSE 250 listed group.