GLOBAL - Growth of European assets under management helped boost the total assets of US manager T Rowe Price to $334.7bn (€260bn) at close of 2006, up 24.2% from $269.5bn end 2005.

"As of December 31 2006, assets sourced from clients outside the US accounted for $24bln (€19bn), in over 225 mandates, accounting for just over 7% of T. Rowe Price's total assets under management," said Todd Ruppert, president and CEO of T Rowe Price Global Investment Services. 

Commenting on the growth of international business, James Kennedy, the company's recently appointed CEO and president said: "Our expansion initiatives in Europe combined with inroads in Asia and the Middle East have expanded our client base to more than 20 countries."

Of the $65.2bn increase in assets during last year, net in flows to mutual funds was $12.9bn, including $6.6bn that went into the target-date Retirement funds and some $0.8bn from the merger of two fund groups with T Rowe Price.

The total in the Retirement Funds at year-end reached $17.3bn and total mutual funds' assets were $207bn.

Kennedy pointed out that while 2007 would offer a generally favourable environment for stocks and bonds, some slowdown in the rate of corporate earning growth was likely. "As a result, investors should expect more conservative returns in the near term."