LONDON (Reuters) – Emerging markets-focused money manager Ashmore (ASHM.L) on Thursday posted a 22% plunge in assets under management, slammed by an $18 billion loss on its investments, as a coronavirus-led selloff in financial markets bashed global stocks last month.
AUM dropped to $76.8 billion as at March end from $98.4 billion on Dec. 31, while net outflows amounted to $3.6 billion.
“Investment performance was negative in all investment themes as a result of the sharp, severe fall in global markets from mid-February,” Ashmore said.
The London-listed investor posted net outflows in corporate debt, local currency and external debt investment strategies, with client redemptions concentrated in retail-oriented mutual funds in the first two themes.
Corporate debt and equities saw the biggest hits, seeing net outflows of 39% and 33% respectively, closely followed by multi-asset strategies which saw net outflows of 25%.
The sell-off has weakened performance against benchmarks over one and three years but comparisons remain good over five years, the company said. It said it now saw some of the “most attractive valuations” seen since the 2008 financial crisis.
“External debt is trading in excess of 600 basis points over the U.S. Treasury curve, more than twice its normal level, while equities are trading at 1.1 x book value, the same level as seen in the financial crisis,” Ashmore said.
Commenting on its own business model, Ashmore said it had a “strong, liquid balance sheet” with no debt and more than 700 million pounds of financial resources including more than 400 million pounds of cash as at March 31.
Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru and Sinead Cruise in London; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Dhara Ranasinghe