Asset managers eat a 14% loss as stock prices fall

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Asset managers eat a 14% loss as stock prices fall

Earnings of asset management firms in Korea fell 14 percent on-year in the 2011 fiscal year as weak stock prices and a drop in the net value of holdings cut into profits, the financial regulator said yesterday.

The combined net earnings of 82 asset managers came to 305.2 billion won ($264.7 million) when fiscal 2011 ended in March, down 49.8 billion won from a year earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

“The total value of assets under management declined mainly because of weak stock prices that hurt the firms’ operating profits,” it said.

Operating profits stood at just under 1.52 trillion won, down $70.3 billion from a year earlier. The decrease was caused by a 99.0 billion won drop in earnings generated by managing assets, which offset gains in management fees. A rise in labor costs also hurt earnings of firms, the FSS added. The latest slump comes as local asset managers have reported net earnings falling steadily after hitting 453.9 billion won in the 2009 fiscal year. Of the companies checked, Mirae Asset Global Investments ranked No. 1 in terms of net earnings with profits hitting 89.3 billion won. It was followed by Korea Investment Management, Shinhan BNP Paribas Management, Samsung Asset Management and UBS Hana Asset Management.

The top five firms accounted for 68.6 percent of all net earnings by asset management firms last year, the report showed.

Yonhap

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