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Polar Capital October outflows mar first-half profit jump

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By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) – British asset manager Polar Capital <POLR.L> said total assets fell 7.5 percent in October on the back of a broad stock market selloff, taking the shine off a jump in half-year profit.

Polar, like many fund managers, was hit hard by a tech-led slide in equity values as a gradual tightening in central bank monetary policy and rising interest rates in the United States crimped investor demand.

The MSCI World index <.WORLD>, a broad gauge of global stocks, fell 7.4 percent in October.

Assets rose to 14.7 billion pounds from 12 billion pounds in the six months to end-September, helping Polar post an 81 percent year-on-year jump in core profit and interim dividend of 8 pence, but had fallen to 13.6 billion by the end of October.

“While we have had a highly satisfactory first six months, there is no doubt that we will encounter more volatile markets and a reduction in risk appetite by investors,” Polar Chief Executive Gavin Rochussen said.

(Reporting by Simon Jessop. Editing by Ben Martin.)

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