Standard Life forecast to unveil dip in assets

Keith Skeoch succeeded David Nish as Standard Life chief in August

Keith Skeoch succeeded David Nish as Standard Life chief in August

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Life and pensions giant Standard Life is expected to report a fall in assets under administration when it reports third-quarter results next week.

The Edinburgh-based group, led by new chief executive Keith Skeoch, is due to publish its figures on Wednesday and Panmure Gordon analyst Barrie Cornes predicted its assets will have been hit by “volatile investment markets”.

Cornes, who has a “hold” rating on Standard Life’s shares, has pencilled in an assets under administration figure of £297 billion for the third quarter, down from £302.1bn at the end of June.

He added: “Our hold recommendation and 433p target price reflects our view that the valuation is relatively full although the dividend yield remains very attractive.”

In August, Standard Life said its half-year pre-tax operating profits rose by 6 per to £290m, but sales of annuities plunged in the wake of new pensions freedom rules.

The first-half results were the last to be presented by former chief executive David Nish, who has now been succeeded by Skeoch.

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