Aberdeen Posts Outflows as Emerging Market Appetite Wanes

Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, Scotland’s largest money manager, reported 4.4 billion pounds ($7.2 billion) of net outflows in the fourth quarter as clients withdrew funds from emerging markets.

Assets under management declined 3.4 percent to 193.6 billion pounds in the three months to Dec. 31 from the previous quarter, the company said in a statement today as it closed a fund to new business.

“We are not really seeing the healthy inflows that we are used to into emerging markets and Asia,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Gilbert said on a conference call today. “We will see a bit of a rebound this year. We are still heavily invested in emerging markets, which is a great place to be.”

Aberdeen, which invests about two-thirds of assets in global emerging markets and stocks from the Asia-Pacific region, has fallen about 10 percent in London trading this year. Its competitor Ashmore Group Plc tumbled earlier in the week after clients withdrew $3.5 billion in funds from its developing-market funds in the same period.

Emerging-market equities have declined since May amid concern that cuts in U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus will reduce investor demand for risker assets. By contrast, developed markets have rallied as the Fed’s decision to slow asset purchases boosted confidence in the U.S. recovery.

“We don’t want to lose our emerging market badge of expertise, we are very proud of that,” said Gilbert, who added that company has about 2 billion pounds of new business which would boost assets in 2014. “We would like to see emerging market debt, fixed income and our property business grow.”

He said the company’s acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership from Lloyds Banking Group Plc, which is awaiting regulatory approval, was “progressing” and would help the firm to “significantly expand and diversify” its assets. The company agreed to acquire the firm for 560 million pounds in November to create Europe’s largest publicly traded money manager, overtaking Schroders Plc.

Aberdeen’s shares fell as much as 5.3 percent before closing up 0.5 percent to 451 pence at the close.

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