Shares in FTSE 250 asset management firm Ashmore Group (LON:ASHM) slipped 2.04% to 383.60p (as of 13:55 BST) after a 9% decline in assets under management for the year ended 30th June as poor market performance outweighed equity inflows. Lower operating costs contributed to a 1% improved in pre-tax profits and management have recommended a 2% improvement in the final dividend.
CEO Mark Coombs commented: “Ashmore has delivered a solid operational and financial performance over the past year, against a backdrop of significant market dislocation in the third quarter as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The Group’s business model, based on a consistent global operating platform, has proven its resilience in this challenging period and, after the initial negative impact in Q3, the investment processes are delivering outperformance as markets recover and client flows have continued to stabilise.
“The economic and social effects of the virus will continue for some time and the medium to long term impact remains uncertain. However, the huge diversity of Emerging Markets means that countries will be affected and will respond differently, thereby providing a wide range of potential return scenarios for active managers. Importantly, many emerging nations have the policy flexibility to cope with the challenges, and they provide superior growth and yield prospects compared with many Developed Markets, where high equity valuations and persistently low or negative rates combine with low growth and high levels of debt. This provides clear incentives for investors to increase allocations to both equity and fixed income markets in the emerging world and therefore supports the medium-term growth opportunity for Ashmore’s specialist approach“.