Business

Most active ETFs rack up 11.5% total returns on average

The five most active exchange traded funds (ETFs) here last month have racked up sizzling total returns of 11.5 per cent on average so far this year, an SGX My Gateway report shows.

They are iShares MSCI India Index ETF, SPDR Gold Shares ETF, SPDR Straits Times Index ETF, db x-trackers MSCI Indonesia Index UCITS ETF and db x-trackers MSCI China Index UCITS ETF (DR).

ETFs are investment funds listed and traded intra-day on a bourse. Most aim to track the performance of an index and provide access to a wide variety of markets and asset classes, including local stocks and international securities.

The report said the five saw a 40.5 per cent year-on-year surge in turnover for May to $162 million, up from $115 million. It also noted that they chalked up 19.5 per cent in total returns over the past year and 20.6 per cent in total returns over the last three years.

iShares MSCI India Index ETF saw most activity. The ETF ­tracks the MSCI India Index, which has generated returns of 17 per cent this year as at May 31 in Singdollar terms.

Indian stocks have been placed among the best performers in emerging market equities since the start of this year, said the report.

Equity fund inflows stand at about US$8 billion (S$11 billion), which is second only to China in Asia.

The next most active ETF was the SPDR Gold Shares ETF, which tracks the price of gold bullion less the trust's expenses. It generated a turnover of $42 million last month, bringing its total return to date this year to 4.5 per cent.

Taking third place was the SPDR Straits Times Index ETF, which saw turnover hitting $36 million last month, and registering total returns of 13.5 per cent as at the end of May.

It is one of two ETFs that track the Straits Times Index (STI), which comprises the 30 largest and most liquid companies listed on the SGX.

The Trade and Industry Ministry last month reported a year-on-year jump in economic output of 2.7 per cent to $101.1 billion in the first quarter. The STI, seen as a benchmark for Singapore's economic performance, also generated returns of 14.1 per cent so far this year.

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