Aberdeen suffers tough December as outflows mount

Aberdeen suffers tough December as outflows mount

Aberdeen Asset Management has been hit with fresh outflows as “fragile” investor sentiment turned against the firm in December.

The asset manager suffered outflows of £4.8bn in the final three months of 2014, cancelling out the positive market and currency movements to reduce its overall assets from £324.4bn to £323.3bn.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, said December had been a tough month for the firm, following “encouraging” inflows in October and November.

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“December was a reminder that investor sentiment remains fragile,” said Mr Gilbert.

The firm said “outflows also increased as the emerging market backdrop remained tough”, particularly in December, which hurt Aberdeen’s emerging market equity and debt franchises.

Aberdeen also continued to suffer outflows from its recently acquired Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip) business.

The firm struck a cautious note in its outlook for 2015, emphasising that it expected “demand for investment products to continue to be volatile” and “investor sentiment remains fragile”.

Broker Numis Securities said Aberdeen’s assets were “fractionally lower” than it had expected, due to higher than expected outflows.

But while Numis said the update was “a little disappointing” it did not think it would have much impact on its longer-term view of the stock, which it currently rates as a ‘hold’.