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Ashmore has shrugged off the slump in emerging markets following Donald Trump’s election, with profits before tax at the FTSE 250 investment manager almost doubling in the six months to the end of December.


The fund house, which has assets under management of $52.2bn, reported profits before tax of £121.5m, far ahead of the consensus analysts’ expectation of £90.6m.

The emerging markets specialist also reported a 24 per cent rise in net revenues to £144.1m, benefiting from the stronger US dollar and a rise in performance fees paid by investors.

It maintained its interim dividend at 4.55p.

In a trading update in January, the company said its assets under management had fallen in the three months to the end of December, after investors retreated from emerging markets following Mr Trump’s election as US president.

The fund house had been hurt by investor jitters that Mr Trump’s plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure could drive up interest rates and bond yields, hitting emerging markets in the process.

But Mark Coombs, chief executive officer at Ashmore, said investor sentiment towards emerging markets has improved again this year, following a rally during the first 10 months of 2016.

“While the US election outcome interrupted the improvement in sentiment towards emerging markets, the effect has been short-lived with asset prices strengthening into 2017,” he said.

The group’s share price rose 50 per cent in the first 10 months of 2016 as investors bet that it would benefit from a rally in emerging markets. But it fell again following Mr Trump’s election in November and ended the year up 11 per cent.

The company also reported an improvement in performance, with 91 per cent of its assets under management outperforming benchmarks over one year, and 81 per cent over three years.

Peter Lenardos, analyst at RBC, the bank, says: “We continue to believe that Ashmore is a best-in-class operator in a challenged asset class, emerging market fixed income.”

The fund house has failed to attract investor inflows for 10 consecutive quarters, but has hinted that it expects new money to return before the end of its financial year in June.

Last month, Ashmore said that it had suffered $700m of outflows during its second quarter to the end of December.

According to Moringstar, the data provider, investors put $65.7bn into emerging market-focused funds during 2016, after several years of shunning the asset class.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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