REAL ESTATE - Aberdeen Asset Management plc has won new business worth £7.7.bn (€11.3bn) in the five months to the end of the February.
The bulk of commitments are to segregated securities mandates: £5.17bn in total, of which 45% was attracted to fixed income, 20% to Asia-Pacific and 20% to global equities, including SRI specialisms. Ten per cent is marked for global emerging market equities and other classes.
One-quarter of the new commitments are to property, notably £205m into a first Asian fund of property funds.
Aberdeen is recruiting a 7-strong team to strengthen the UK business and enable the property division to provide a full service to segregated clients.
The total new business since October represents more than 10% of assets under management. At the end of February, Aberdeen had £73.1bn under management.
By the end of February, the sum had risen to £78.4bn, due to market movements and £3.3bn of the announced new business already received. There remain £4bn of new wins committed still to be added.
On the back of this good news, Bridgewell Securities raised its September 2007 earnings-per-share estimate from 11.1p to 13.1p and its September 2008 earnings-per-share estimate from 13.2p to 14p.
In a note, Bridgewell commented: "The stock looks very attractively valued relative to the fund management sector: its calendarised 2007 price-equity ratio is line at 16.4x but this falls to 13.5x in 2008, compared with a sector unweighted average of 14.6x. We believe this anomaly, together with the clear momentum behind continued earnings upgrades, presents a strong buying opportunity."