StockMarketWire.com - Asset manager Ashmore reported Thursday assets under management increased in the first half as inflows were bolstered by renewed momentum in emerging markets amid signs the dollar is set to weaken.

For the six months to 31 December, assets under management increased by 10% to £76.7 billion from a year earlier, through net inflows of $2.4bn, and negative investment performance of $0.2bn.

Returns from Emerging Markets assets over the six months were varied, with fixed income indices performing better than equities and Emerging Markets modestly underperforming Developed Markets, the company said.

Statutory profit before tax fell 6% to £93.0m from a year earlier, which the company blamed on lower contributions from performance fees and the marking-to-market of seed capital investments.

Seed capital mark-to-market resulted in a loss before tax of £9.7m compared with a £10.5m gain a year earlier.

It has become increasingly apparent that the level of my equity ownership, currently c.39%, could restrict Ashmore's future success and that it would be prudent to prevent the size of my shareholding becoming a more significant issue over time.

CEO Mark Coombs, meanwhile, agreed with the board to cut his shareholding of about 39% down to a more 'appropriate level' over the medium term by selling up to 4% of Ashmore stock each year into the market.

The group declared an interim dividend of 4.55p a share.

'Ashmore delivered a respectable operating performance in the first half and has experienced a positive start to 2019,' said Mark Coombs, Chief Executive Officer. 'The Emerging Markets are in good health with high GDP growth, low inflation, attractive valuations and, after a slight pause in allocations at the end of 2018, there is renewed momentum in capital flows.'

'The temporary factors that supported the US dollar in 2018 are fading, and consequently Emerging Markets assets are performing strongly and Ashmore's active investment approach is delivering outperformance.'



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