Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are the hottest investment option in the global markets today.
Investing in them gives you access to some of the best returns from the stock market.
If you want to invest in them, you should continue reading on where we list the 11 best ETFs in Singapore.
11 Best ETFs in Singapore
|Best Singapore ETFs||What It Tracks||Expense Ratio|
|SPDR Straits Times Index ETF (SGX: ES3)||Top 30 companies on SGX||0.30%|
|Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF (SGX: HSS)||Top 30 tech companies on HKEX||0.45%|
|SPDR Gold Shares ETF (SGX: O87)||Price of gold bullion||0.40%|
|Phillip Sing Income ETF (SGX: OVQ)||Top 30 SGX listed companies based on Morningstar indexes||0.70%|
|Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (SGX: MBH)||Quasi-sovereign, Singapore and foreign corporate bonds||0.25%|
|Xtrackers MSCI Singapore UCITS ETF (SGX: o9a)||Large, mid-size, and small capitalisation companies in Singapore.||0.5%|
|iShares USD Asia High Yield Bond Index ETF (SGX: O9P)||High yield bonds by Asian/ Asian-based governments & companies||0.5%|
|ICBC CSOP FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index ETF US$D (SGX: CYB)||Performance of the FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index||Not available|
|Lion Phillip S-REIT ETF (SGX: CLR)||High dividend Singapore REITs||≤0.54%|
|ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund (SGX: A35)||Singapore govt + quasi-govt bonds||0.25%|
|PRINCIPAL ASEAN40 (SGX: QS0)||Performance of the FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index and the best-performing countries in ASEAN||0.52%|
1. SPDR Straits Times Index ETF (SGX: ES3)
The SPDR STI ETF (ES3) is one of the best and the first locally launched ETF managed by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).
It tracks the performance of the Straits Times Index, one of the globally recognised benchmark indices that track the performance of the 30 largest companies on the Singapore Exchange.
The fund’s objective is to replicate or copy the performance of the STI by investing its assets in index stocks with similar weightings to those in the index.
As an investor, you will therefore enjoy diversified exposure to Singapore’s blue-chip companies. Moreover, you can participate in the overall growth of the country without incurring much cost.
The fund has a long history as it has been listed on Singapore’s Exchange Securities Trading Limited since April 17, 2002. It also has favourable liquidity with more than S$5 million traded daily.
Major stocks in which the fund has invested include DBS Group Holdings, Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited, and United Overseas Bank Ltd (Singapore).
The SPDR STI is the most popular fund, at least if we go by fund size, which currently stands at $1,710.67 million at SGD. With an expense ratio of 0.3%, the fund is attractive to investors looking for a stable platform for their money.
2. Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF (SGX: HSS)
Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF was listed on the Singapore Exchange in both USD (SGX: HSS) and SGD (SGX: HST) in December 2020.
The main objective of this ETF is to track the performance of the Hang Seng Tech Index (before taking into account expenses) by investing in all the underlying index stocks.
The index is determined and compiled by Hang Seng Indexes ltd. and represents the top 30 technology companies in Hong Kong.
The Hang Seng TECH Index is a free-float index that determines market capitalisation based on share price and shares in the market. Thereby, the market capitalisation has a weight of 8% on the specific weighting of the constituents.
These companies operate in technology-related sectors such as the internet, fintech, cloud, e-commerce, and digital technology.
Examples of companies in the index include Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, Tencent, Sunny Optical, and Meituan.
These technology themes are innovative and therefore have the potential to generate high returns.
This ETF is more USD-focused and is a good option for beginners as the trading lot starts at 10 units.
3. SPDR Gold Shares ETF (SGX: O87)
SPDR Gold Trust is a standalone fund established under the laws of the State of New York to hold gold bullion and issue SPDR Gold Shares.
The shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK), and the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST).
SPDR Gold Shares ETF is a unique ETF whose main objective is to track the market prices of gold.
It is a good option for conservative investors who fear the unpredictability of the stock market.
So, investing in gold provides a safe platform for your money.
Another important feature of the SPDR Gold Shares ETF is that it uses HSBC Bank as the main custodian for the gold reserves of the SPDR Gold Trust.
The advantage of this ETF is that, unlike other variants that may require vaults to store your precious metal, this ETF offers smaller and affordable units for investors.
Therefore, it is also an excellent choice for beginners.
Currently, the expense ratio is 0.4%.
Moreover, the fund uses a transparent process by displaying important information on its website.
Thus, you can easily access price information, holdings, NAV of gold units, and market data for gold bars.
Trading SPDR Gold Shares is easy and flexible, just like buying and selling regular stocks.
Finally, you can trade in two currencies, SGD and USD.
4. Phillip Sing Income ETF (SGX: OVQ)
The Phillip Sing Income ETF (OVQ) is a REIT ETF, which allows investors to diversify their options beyond traditional stocks, bonds, and gold investments. It is one of the newest ETFs listed on October 29, 2018.
The goal of the index is to track the best companies with sound and solid financial backgrounds.
The ETF is managed by Phillip Capital Management and focuses mainly on blue-chip stocks listed on the Singapore Exchange.
The stocks are listed on the SGX-St and are traded in Singapore dollars. In addition, the expense ratio is capped at 0.7% per annum.
The fund guarantees diversification, liquidity, and transparency in the Singapore market.
In addition, you will receive a high-quality and stable income as well as a semi-annual dividend payout.
Lastly, investors can get a strategic beta in-stock selection, focusing on dividend yield, company quality, and financial soundness.
5. Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (SGX: MBH)
The Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF is the first exchange-traded fund to offer investors seamless access to dollar-denominated investment-grade corporate bonds in small, affordable units.
The fund’s goal is to track the performance of the iBoxx Non-Sovereigns Large Cap Investment Grade Index, giving investors a diversified portfolio of corporate bonds issued by top-rated companies.
In turn, you can invest with confidence because investment-grade rating reports show that bonds have a lower risk of default.
The fund was listed on the Singapore Exchange on August 27, 2018, and pays dividends twice a year.
However, this is at the discretion of the fund manager. As well, the fund is currently valued (as of January 25, 2022) S$602.25 million with 591,028,600 units.
Considering that it is a new fund and smaller compared to the SPDR, it has maintained an impressive expense ratio of 0.3%.
6. Xtrackers MSCI Singapore UCITS ETF (SGX: o9a)
Xtrackers MSCI Singapore UCITS ETF invests primarily in Singapore equities. Dividends in this fund are then reinvested.
The fund tracks the MSCI index, which tracks the performance of the best stocks from 23 developed countries. As well, it tracks the performance of large and mid-cap companies in the Singapore market.
Currently, the index consists of 19 stocks based on the concept of the MSCI Global Investable Market Index (GIMI).
It is worth noting that mid-cap companies are currently on a growth path.
Therefore, it is an excellent option for investors who are looking for companies that will grow in the coming years.
7. iShares USD Asia High Yield Bond Index ETF (SGX: O9P)
The iShares USD Asia High Yield Bond Index ETF was launched in December 2011 to give investors the opportunity to invest in bonds issued by the best-performing companies.
It offers investors some of the most impressive interest rates and yields on the market.
Additionally, this fund tracks the performance of the Bloomberg Asia High Yield Diversified Credit Index, which includes high-yield bonds issued by companies and governments in Asia excluding Japan.
Examples of companies that issue high-yield bonds include the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Wynn Macau Casinos Celestial Miles Limited, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
8. ICBC CSOP FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index ETF US$D (SGX: CYB)
The ICBC CSOP FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index ETF was launched in September 2021 to provide investors with a diversified portfolio to invest their funds.
The main objective of the fund is to track the performance of the FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index using the sampling strategy.
The index mainly includes A1 investment-grade Chinese government bonds.
This means that this ETF is firmly invested in Chinese government bonds.
The fund is very popular with investors because Chinese government bonds offer attractive yields.
For example, in 2021, the fund returned 6.321% despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
9. Lion Phillip S-REIT ETF (SGX: CLR)
Although REITs are popular with dividend investors because of their high yields and dividend payouts, their stability depends on the market and global factors.
As an investor, you have the chance to become a landlord of the properties in the REIT portfolio mix. Furthermore, you can and will receive income in the form of dividends.
Lion Phillip S- REIT ETF is one of the three listed REIT ETFs available in the Singapore market.
It is not as large as the Nikko AM Reit ETF, but with a traded value of more than S$1 million, it is still a popular option.
The fund focuses on some of the highest-yielding REITs in Singapore and is one of the most popular in the market today.
For example, it was able to shrug off the weakness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve a high dividend yield of 6%.
A unique aspect of the Lion Phillip S-REIT ETF Fund is that its investors invest in attractive S-REITs. So as an investor, you can benefit from a balanced SREIT portfolio mix and achieve high dividends.
The fund tracks the Morningstar Singapore REIT Yield Focus Index, which tracks the performance of the best-performing companies in Singapore.
MorningStar is a leading investment research firm that is highly regarded for ETFs and mutual funds.
This ETF allows you to invest in the top 25 performing REITS in Singapore and get value for your money.
Even though the expense ratio is higher at 0.54%, the REITs produce high returns in short periods of time.
10. ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund (SGX: A35)
Bonds are attractive to investors who are risk-averse and want to escape the harsh realities of a stock market crash.
The ABF Singapore Index Fund is a popular fixed-income fund that serves as a hedge against investment risk.
With ABF Singapore Index Fund, you can invest in high-grade government-linked bonds such as Singapore Savings Bonds and Temasek Holdings Bond.
The fund has proven to be resilient even in volatile market conditions due to its solid linkage to government bonds. Therefore, it is a great diversifier that offsets equity market volatility.
This ETF offers a cluster buy on several bonds issued by highly credible entities such as government agencies like HDB and LTA.
While the yields are not quite as high as the REIT bonds, you have the assurance that the bond coupons are guaranteed to be paid.
The fund’s expense ratio is 0.25%, which assures investors better and higher returns on their portfolio mix.
The average return of the fund since its inception is about 2.8%,
11. PRINCIPAL ASEAN40 (SGX: QS0)
PRINCIPAL ASEAN40 was listed on September 21, 2006, and was initially referred to as CIMB FTSE ASEAN 40.
The objective of the fund is to offer investments that track the performance of the FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index. It also tracks the best-performing companies in ASEAN.
Initially, the fund was active in 5 Asian markets, namely Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Now, this number has increased.
Therefore, this ETF enjoys a reputation for diversification due to its broad geographic spread.
ETFs are great ways to invest in the stock markets. They allow investors to trade shares that track the performance of a particular index. However, investing in them can sometimes be complicated.
That’s why many opt for a financial advisor.
We hope that this list of the best ETFs in Singapore helped you in your selections – whether it’s based on sector exposure, style, expense ratio, risk profile and whether it rebalances or follows a passive investment strategy.
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