Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life 'explore merger'

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Two of Scotland's largest companies - Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life - have been exploring an £11bn merger, according to reports.

Sky said it had learnt the firms had been holding talks about a possible merger.

The move would create one of the UK's largest fund managers, overseeing more than £600bn-worth of assets.

Sky News quoted city insiders as saying that a deal was far from certain to be finalised.

Neither company has commented on the reports.

US election

Aberdeen has a market value of £3.7bn, about half the size of Standard Life.

According to Sky, advisers to the two sides have raised the idea of either a full merger, or a tie-up between Aberdeen and Standard Life's asset management division.

Last month Aberdeen reported big outflows from its funds following Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election.

In the last quarter of 2016, the firm saw net outflows of £10.5bn, which were partially offset by market gains of £3.3bn.

Aberdeen said investor sentiment "stalled" following the US election result.

Standard Life reported recently that it shook off industry "headwinds" last year to post a strong rise in profits.

The Edinburgh-based group reported that pre-tax operating profit increased by 9% in 2016 to £723m. Assets under administration rose 16% to £357.1bn.


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