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Major AIM resources investor Miton Group enjoys strong start to the year – could this indicate a commodities bull market? (MGR)

Asset management business Miton Group (LSE:MGR) revealed that it saw inflows rise by an impressive 216pc year-on-year in the six months ended 30 June 2018, sending its shares 6.2pc higher to 60p in morning trading. With the company positioning itself as a cornerstone institutional investor in numerous junior resources players over the period, could its impressive results indicate that market sentiment is turning?

In today’s results, Miton – which many will know as the home of well-known small-cap investor Gervais Williams – said total net inflows jumped from £195m in the first half of 2017 to £616m over the period. Meanwhile, its half-year assets under management (AuM) – the amount of money run on behalf of investors in its funds – hit £4.5bn in H1 2018, up 35pc on £3.4bn in H1 2017.

The firm put its strong numbers down to seven consecutive quarters of positive net flows, which also helped its average AuM for the period leap to £4.1bn from £3.2bn a year prior. It was also bolstered by the ongoing expansion of its fund range, which included the launch of the LF Miton Balanced Multi Asset fund in January, and the Miton US Smaller Companies fund in March. Out of its 16 funds, an impressive 13 are first or second quartile performers from the date their manager joined to 30 June 2018.

David Barron, chief executive of Miton, said: The first half of the year saw continued strong organic growth and momentum within the business. We have seen positive net inflows across a wide range of strategies and good long-term performance. As noted in the Pridham Report, the group achieved the seventh highest net retail sales in the UK in the first quarter of 2018. Our genuinely active strategies have increasing relevance, we were delighted to be nominated for the Investment Week 2018 Specialist Fund Management Group of the year and to also have two of our funds shortlisted for being best in their sectors with the LF Miton US Opportunities Fund winning. The outlook for the financial year as a whole is encouraging.’

As regular readers of ValueTheMarkets will know, Miton is extremely active on AIM and the smaller end of the LSE, holding substantial stakes in many of its resources players. To name but a few examples, the business is a significant backer of Savannah Petroleum (LSE:SAVP), Reabold Resource (LSE:RBD), Block Energy (LSE:BLOE), and Anglo African Oil & Gas (LSE:AAOG).

With this in mind, the fact that the firm has enjoyed such a healthy start to the year should be pleasing to those who actively trade in the resources space. With copper prices looking strong, electric vehicles driving demand for many battery metals, and oil enjoying comfortable supply/demand dynamics, the interest Miton has enjoyed could indicate an emerging bull market for commodities.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The author of this piece does not hold a position in the company covered in this article

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