April 16, 2019 / 6:21 AM / 6 months ago

Ashmore third-quarter assets jump on inflows, market gains; shares rise

LONDON (Reuters) - Emerging market-focused money manager Ashmore said total assets jumped 11.2 percent in its third quarter, boosted by new client money and market gains, sending its shares higher.

The quarter marked a strong bounce back for Ashmore after a subdued end to 2018 as market volatility dulled investor sentiment.

By 0818 GMT its shares were trading 4.2 percent higher, making it one of the biggest gainers on the FTSE mid-cap index.

Ashmore said total assets at the end of March were $85.3 billion (£65.2 billion), up from the prior quarter’s $76.7 billion, after net inflows of $5 billion and positive investment performance of $3.6 billion.

The company, which invests across a range of equity, debt, multi-asset and alternative funds for both institutional and retail clients, said client demand during the quarter had been strong and broad-based.

Assets in Ashmore’s corporate debt strategy rose 30 percent over the period, to $14.1 billion. Local currency, overlay/liquidity, blended debt and external debt investment themes also saw net inflows, it said, with several clients with large existing mandates adding to their allocations during the period.

“Client activity levels picked up through the quarter following a slight pause at the end of 2018,” Chief Executive Mark Coombs said.

“This reflects a number of ongoing positive factors including investors’ light positioning in Emerging Markets, the significant value available across a diverse range of investment themes, and slowing growth and political challenges in the developed world.”

KBW analyst Jonathan Richards said strong growth in Ashmore’s assets under management had seen it beat his expectations by 5 percent.

“Given the positive indication from these results we believe organic growth could be meaningfully positive over the next few months,” he wrote in a note to clients, flagging a ‘Market Perform’ rating and 430 pence target price.

Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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