It may be co-incidence, but on the day that Aberdeen Asset Management presented its interim results,...
It may be co-incidence, but on the day that Aberdeen Asset Management presented its interim results, the Treasury also chose to release a statement in which it promotes the idea of tightening up regulation of the investment trust sector.
Aberdeen has been one of the key names in the split capital investment trust fiasco, and the company today reported that first half profit jumped after it sold 6 funds to New Start as part of the process of picking up the pieces from the splits disaster.
Earnings per share soared to more than 17p from just short of 3p in the same period last year, but the company still cut the interim dividend, as it had said it would, to 2p from 3.85p.
Negotiations to sell Aberdeen Property Investors continue, the company says, and should reach a successful conclusion fairly soon.
Aberdeen says its 12 conventional investment trusts performed "relatively" well during the period covered by today's results and says that it continues to "cooperate fully" with the Treasury, FSA and FOS to find a solution to the splits problems.
Interesting, then, that the Treasury chose today to release a statement in which it says: "We accept that there may be a case for bringing investment trusts fully within regulation by the FSA."
The FSA has suggested as much in CP164, but it is clear that the Association of Investment Trust Companies is keen to keep additional regulatory burdens to a minimum, at least for as long as closed end funds are discriminated against by the Inland Revenue compared to Unit Trusts and OEICs.
Aberdeen shares are up 3.5p to 39p today, although they are still down 83% in the past 12 months.
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