UK fund manager River and Mercantile slashes provision for FCA probe

UK fund manager River and Mercantile slashes provision for FCA probe
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LONDON (Reuters) - British fund manager River and Mercantile Asset Management <RIV.L> cut its provision for an investigation by Britain's markets watchdog to 109,000 pounds from a previous one million, it said on Friday.

R&M was one of four asset management firms which may have broken competition law during share sales, the FCA said last year in its first case using its anti-trust enforcement powers.

R&M cut the provision to reflect guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority on the likely size of any penalty, if one were imposed, the company said in a statement.

"The group continues to co-operate fully with the FCA in this complex matter and we will provide further updates when the FCA reaches its final decision in due course," R&M chief executive Mike Faulkner said.

The FCA alleged the four firms - Artemis Investment Management, Hargreave Hale, Newton Investment Management and R&M, shared information about how much they planned to pay for stock deals shortly before prices were officially set.

The main allegations centre on one or more of two listings and a share placing in 2014 and 2015.

R&M, which said in March it was setting aside a one million pound provision, also reported a 2 percent rise in assets under management in the two months to May 31, to 33.8 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn, editing by David Evans)

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