Ashmore profits jump as emerging markets bounce back from coronavirus

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Fund manager Ashmore PLC (LON:ASHM) said a recovery in emerging markets over the second half of 2020 enabled it to increase both assets under management and profits.

Asset prices appreciated strongly over the past six months, said the emerging markets specialist, as COVID-19 concerns eased, central banks pumped in money and developing countries got a boost from the US election result.

“Subject to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall picture therefore supports continued superior growth by emerging countries,” added the FTSE 100 group.

Profits in the half-year to end December 2020 rose 14% to £150.6mln with assets under management (AuM) at end December 11% higher at US$93bn (£67bn) helped, it said, by a significant outperformance across both fixed income and equities.

Mark Coombs, chief executive, added: “Ashmore’s performance in this period reflects the early stages of a typical recovery cycle, with strong investment performance driving AuM growth and delivering mark-to-market gains on the firm’s seed capital investments.

“The delivery of vaccination programmes around the world will be critical to the ongoing economic recovery in 2021, and in the meantime government and central bank stimulus provide near term support but will lead to a weaker US dollar over time.

“As the short-term effect of this stimulus wears off, investors will seek higher growth and returns than are available in the Developed Markets, and will continue the trend of increasing allocations to the Emerging Markets, which offer superior growth and attractive valuations.”

The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.8p.

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