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Why Henderson Group and Macquarie Group shares are getting slammed

Shares in UK-based international equities manager Henderson Group plc (ASX: HGG) are down 4.1% to $3.49 today on renewed concerns over the impact of Britain’s decision to leave the EU on its funds management business.

Henderson Group manages around $340 billion across global and European equities alongside multi-asset, fixed income and hedge fund style asset management offerings.

The firm is heavily leveraged to European equity markets and is likely to rely on passporting its retail distribution and institutional business development networks across Europe via the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

The potential loss of the right to passport services under this key piece of EU financial services legislation will also impact UK-leveraged asset managers BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) and Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG).

Fortunately for these asset management businesses the right to rely on MiFID’s passporting rules may not be rescinded for UK-licensed asset managers for several years yet, which gives them and the UK’s legislators time to work out an alternative arrangement.

However, it appears international investors are not hanging around in redeeming their funds from some asset managers primarily because sterling has slumped to a new 31-year low against the US dollar.

Overnight UK asset management and insurance business Standard Life halted trading in a $5 billion British property fund as overseas investors all sought to pull funds at the same time.

These investors are not surprisingly worried about the declining value of their investments in unhedged FX-adjusted terms, while the value of the underlying commercial property assets is probably also under pressure.

I would not be surprised to see shares in the likes of Henderson come under further selling pressure as investors consider the potential for big-hitting overseas clients to redeem funds from their many sterling-denominated collective investment schemes. Moreover, risks remain over a contagion effect if sterling’s slide spirals out of control.

For now these look businesses for the bargain hunters to avoid.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of Macquarie Group Limited.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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