EMERGING markets equities specialists have tightened their grip on The Herald's table of the top performing asset managers working for Scottish fund houses as First State's Jonathan Asante retained the top spot for a second month.

Mr Asante, who runs First State's Global Emerging Markets Leaders, Global Emerging Markets, and Latin America funds, was one of five emerging markets fund managers in the top ten when the latest investment performance figures for the three years to December 31, 2012 were compiled by financial publisher Citywire.

Mr Asante moved to First State's Edinburgh office in 2004 as a senior analyst and became head of global emerging market equities after several years of co-managing portfolios with renowned emerging markets expert Angus Tulloch.

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Many of the other emerging markets investors featured in the Scottish list are his colleagues at First State.

They include, in fourth place, David Gait, manager of the house's Asia Pacific Sustainability, Indian Subcontinent, and Global Emerging Markets Sustainability funds.

Martin Lau, manager of the First State Greater China Growth fund, featured in sixth position. While Mr Asante was 30th in the UK-wide standings, Mr Gait was 65th and Mr Lau stood at 76th.

The First State contingent shared the spotlight with two Aberdeen emerging markets experts.

Devan Kaloo, manager of Aberdeen Asset Management's Global Emerging Markets Smaller Companies, Emerging Markets, Global Emerging Markets Equity, European Frontiers and Latin American Equity funds, secured third spot as his UK-wide ranking rose from 81st to 62nd.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen's Singapore-based Asian veteran Hugh Young, who heads funds including its Asia Pacific, Asian Smaller Companies, Chinese Equity, and Indian Equity offerings, was in fifth place in the Scottish table. His UK-wide standing slipped from 63rd to 67th place.

The Herald-Citywire survey focuses on open-ended funds aimed at retail investors