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Ignore North Korea for now, Europe's asset management giant tells investors

  • North Korea launched another missile early Friday, but a Standard Life Aberdeen co-CEO said investors should "just ignore it at the moment"
  • Martin Gilbert, speaking to CNBC at the Singapore Summit, said it would be wrong to tweak an investment portfolio in a knee-jerk reaction to the latest development

It would be "wrong" to tweak an investment portfolio in a knee-jerk reaction to North Korea's missile launches, said the co-chief executive of the newly-merged asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen.

Martin Gilbert, speaking to CNBC on Friday, said investors should "just ignore it at the moment." His comments came after the hermit state launched another missile early Friday, resulting in some flight to assets traditionally regarded as "safe" such as the Japanese yen and gold. But the trade unwound fairly quickly.

"Our view is: Let's just keep investing as we normally do. I think if it gets serious, you obviously have to take it, you obviously have to look at it, but as I say at the moment, I wouldn't do anything just at this precise moment," Gilbert said at the sidelines of the Singapore Summit.

Standard Life Aberdeen is a relatively new asset management group in the U.K. after the 11 billion pound ($14.8 billion) merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. The company is Europe's second-largest fund manager with about 670 billion pounds ($900 billion) consolidated assets under management.

Former CEOs of the two firms, Aberdeen Asset Management's Gilbert and Standard Life's Keith Skeoch, are now co-leading the new company based in Scotland.

"We really have to put the two businesses together now to form one business, really try and get two and two to make five rather than two and two to make three. That's what we're concentrating on at the moment: looking at what teams are merging, where they'll be based, which offices will be moving," Gilbert said.