* Shares rise 6.2 pct to 230 pence as analysts upgrade
* Books 18 pct rise in assets to $6 bln, fees up
LONDON Jan 11 Specialist investment manager
Polar Capital reported forecast-beating rises in new
business and assets under management for the nine months to Dec.
31 as a robust performance drew more clients to its funds.
Against a backdrop of underwhelming performance for
alternative fund firms in 2012, Polar grew its assets under
management by 18 percent to just over $6 billion during the
period, with net inflows up $518 million in its fiscal third
Shares were up 6.2 percent to 230 pence at 0837 GMT,
outperforming a 0.1 percent rise in the FTSE All Share index
Over the nine-month period, Polar won $923 million of net
new business across a range of hedge and long-only fund
strategies, highlighting its broad appeal to investors chasing
income amid languishing bond yields and erratic equity returns.
The company earned performance fees of 5.1 million pounds
($8.2 million) in the nine months, compared with 3.7 million
pounds a year earlier.
Analysts at Numis upgraded their recommendation on the stock
to 'add' from 'hold' following publication of the results.
"Assets under management at $6 billion is 5 percent ahead of
our estimate, driven by both stronger than expected quarterly
flows and performance. Encouragingly, this has come across the
fund range rather than being concentrated in one area."
In its interim results statement in December, Polar flagged
good inflows into its Emerging Markets Income fund, North
American fund and Healthcare fund.
"Polar has the potential to deliver decent medium term
assets under management growth from organic growth, performance
and possibly further selective acquisitions or team hires, which
should lead to significant growth in both quality and quantum of
profit," the Numis note continued.
Hedge funds which bet Europe's debt crisis would worsen were
last year's big losers, lagging those that risked an upbeat
stance, data on funds' performance showed.
The average fund was up 6.2 percent in 2012, behind most
major equity indexes.