US - T. Rowe Price Group says it is well positioned for institutional investors following a 3.8% rise in profits.

The Baltimore-based asset management group said second-quarter net income rose to 54 million dollars from 52 million a year before. Net revenues came in at 237 million dollars, down from 240 million dollars.

As at June 30, its assets under management reached 161.2 billion dollars, up from the 139.9 billion dollars at the beginning of the second quarter of 2003 and the highest since December 31, 2000 when its assets were 166.7 billion dollars.

The rise in assets was due to “rebounding financial market valuations” which resulted in a 17.3 billion-dollar rise while net cash inflows totalled nearly 4.0 billion dollars.

Chairman and president George Roche said: "As the market has shown signs of recovery, we continue to be encouraged by the performance of our managed investment portfolios and the company's positioning for both individual and institutional investors.”

He added that the firm was “buoyed by steady inflows from our defined contribution plan clients”.

“Lastly, we are encouraged by signs that individual investors are returning to the equity markets. Our corporate earnings and cash flow remain very strong and give us substantial financial flexibility," Roche said.