Tapering hits Aberdeen as outflows jump in Q1


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The Independent Online

The US Federal Reserve decision to taper its bond- buying programme in December has continued to weigh on Aberdeen Asset Management during the first quarter of the year, new figures show.

Aberdeen said it had suffered net outflows of £3.9 billion from its funds in January and February, with a further £200 million believed to have been pulled out by clients last month.

The withdrawals have been part of the wider emerging market sell-off since the US announced its tapering of financial stimulus measures, which some fear will destabilise economies like Asia.

Despite the outflows, shares in the group rose more than 5 per cent to 412p as it completed the takeover of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership from Lloyds Banking Group.

The deal will boost Aberdeen’s assets under management to £324.5 billion, making it Europe’s largest listed standalone fund manager.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive, said: “Encouraging inflows to emerging market debt, high-yield bonds and property have partly offset net outflows from our Asian and emerging market equity products.”

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets welcomed the acquisition, saying: “The transaction, in our opinion, continues to give Aberdeen the diversification it needs: exposure to UK and European equities ... greater scale in property, access to retail investors and a substantially reduced reliance on emerging markets and Asia-Pacific equities.”