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Jupiter shares hit record low as assets slide

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(Reuters) -Shares in Jupiter hit a record low on Friday after the British fund manager reported a 20% fall in assets under management (AUM) in the first half, as global markets buckle under geopolitical tensions and soaring inflation.

Fund managers, who saw their AUM reach record levels during the pandemic, are now witnessing an increase in outflows, with investors cautious as Britain's inflation has scaled a four-decade high.

Jupiter saw net outflows rise to 3.6 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) in the six months ended June 30, compared with 2.3 billion last year.

The company reported AUM of 48.8 billion pounds, down from 60.5 billion pounds at Dec. 31.

"Our overall AUM and net outflow position is disappointing," said outgoing Chief Executive Officer Andrew Formica.

Jupiter last month named Matthew Beesley as CEO, replacing Formica who is leaving after three years.

Jupiter's shares hit a low of 117 pence and were trading at 125 pence at 1017 GMT, down 3.4% and the worst performer in the FTSE mid-cap index.

Jupiter kept its interim dividend at 7.9 pence per share.

But Numis analysts put their rating on the stock under review, flagging Jupiter may need to make future dividend cuts.

"These results were worse than I feared," said one major investor, adding share price falls over the past five years had been "an appalling example of the destruction of shareholder value".

Jupiter, the second-largest provider of retail funds in Britain after the acquisition of Merian Global Investors, saw a 67% plunge in its half-yearly profit before tax to 18.8 million pounds.

French asset management giant Amundi on Friday recorded a 5% fall in AUM in the second quarter.

($1 = 0.8195 pounds)

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru and Carolyn Cohn in LondonEditing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)

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