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Aberdeen Profit Falls as Investors Flee Emerging Markets

May 6 (Bloomberg) -- Aberdeen Asset Management Plc reported lower first-half profit and 8.8 billion pounds ($14.9 billion) of net outflows as negative emerging-market sentiment prompted investors to withdraw funds. The shares tumbled.

The company posted a 3 percent decline in underlying pretax profit to 217 million pounds to March 31 as revenue slid 2 percent, according to a statement today. Assets under management still increased to 324.5 billion pounds, boosted by Aberdeen’s acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

“Aberdeen has delivered a resilient set of numbers, given the difficult backdrop for emerging markets,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Gilbert said in the statement. “There are signs of a pick-up in sentiment toward emerging economies as investors are again identifying opportunities and recognizing the fundamental strengths of these markets.”

The shares closed down 2.4 percent to 435.4 pence in London trading, its biggest decline in more than a month. The Aberdeen, Scotland-based company has tumbled 13 percent this year as reduced stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve tempered demand for riskier assets.

The company increased its first-half dividend 12.5 percent to 6.75 pence a share.

Aberdeen agreed to acquire Scottish Widows from Lloyds Banking Group Plc in November, helping the firm to overtake London-based Schroders Plc as Europe’s biggest publicly traded money manager.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net Steve Bailey

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