EUROPE - Fortis Investments, the asset management arm of the Fortis group, gained no new institutional assets in the second quarter of 2004, according to its latest earnings report.

It gained no institutional assets beyond the 700 million it announced in its first quarter report in May.

And the 81 billion euros in total assets under management at the end of the first half was unchanged from the total AUM figure at the end of the first quarter. The spokeswoman said there was a "marginal" asset rise in the second quarter of 200 million euros.

Pre-tax operating profit at the division rose by nine percent to 34 million euros while net revenues were also up by the same figure. Staff numbers have risen to 697 from 661 at the end of 2003. The group added that it has opened a representative office in Switzerland.

Fortis' securities services division, Information Banking, saw its net operating profit fall five percent to 71 million euros with gross revenues down one percent.

And Fortis said its Belgium-based Fortis AG could benefit from the changing regulatory environment. It said: "The new law on Supplementary Pensions, which came into force at the beginning of 2004, opens significant growth perspectives in the field of sector-wide pension plans and pensions funds."

The Fortis group as a whole said net profit almost tripled to 2.1 billion euros.