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ETFs in Singapore (SGX): What Investors Should Know

profileSudhan P

ETFs in Singapore (SGX)

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are open-ended investment funds that commonly track the performance of an underlying index.

Since they are traded on a stock exchange, they are aptly named as such.

The most common ETF in Singapore mimics the performance of the Straits Times Index (STI).

On top of the STI-tracking ETFs, there are other types of ETFs listed in Singapore.

Here, let’s explore the many types of ETFs listed on the Singapore stock market that are designed to track the different indices or asset classes.

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TL;DR: Different Types of ETFs in Singapore

  • There are four main types of ETF in Singapore;
  • They are those tracking equity indices, REIT indices, commodity or a commodity index, and fixed income indices;
  • There are two equity ETFs tracking Singapore’s Straits Times Index — the SPDR STI ETF and Nikko AM STI ETF; and
  • For those who are interested to invest in gold, there’s the SPDR Gold Shares.

Equity Index

An equities ETF aims to track the movements of a stock index.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3) tracks the fundamentals of the Straits Times Index.

The Straits Times Index consists of the 30 largest and most liquid companies listed in Singapore (also known as blue-chip stocks).

Other than the SPDR STI ETF, there is also the Nikko AM STI ETF (SGX: G3B), which also seeks to replicate the fundamentals of the Straits Times Index.

For a primer on STI ETFs, you can jump in here.

Here’s an article discussing the differences between the two ETFs tracking the Straits Times Index.

Equity ETFs can be further broken down by country or region.

If investors wish to get exposure to the Chinese stock market, they can choose to invest in the United SSE50 China ETF (SGX: JK8), which tracks the SSE 50 index.

The SSE 50 is a 50-stock index of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

For those who like dividends and want to invest in the Asia-Pacific region, there’s the Principal S&P Ethical Asia Pacific Dividend ETF (SGX: QR9) (SGX: P5P).

The ETF tracks the S&P Ethical Pan Asia Select Dividend Opportunities Index.

REIT Index

A REIT ETF tracks the fundamentals of a real estate investment trust (REIT) index.

In Singapore, there are three REIT ETFs, and they are:

  • NikkoAM-StraitsTrading Asia Ex Japan REIT ETF (SGX: CFA) (SGX: COI);
  • Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF (SGX: BYJ) (SGX: BYI); and
  • Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF (SGX: CLR).

Among Singapore’s three REIT ETFs, the Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF is the newest to be listed in October 2017.

Here’s a complete guide on REIT ETFs for those who want a deeper dive

Commodity or Commodity Index

A commodity ETF gives investors exposure to a single type of commodity or a basket of commodities.

In Singapore, there’s only one such commodity ETF – the SPDR Gold Shares (SGX: O87), which is backed by physical gold and tracks the spot gold price.

Come 30 June 2021, the SPDR Gold Shares ETF — currently traded in US dollars — will start trading in a secondary currency of the Singapore dollar as well.

This gives Singaporeans the option to purchase the gold ETF in our local currency. The ticker symbol would be “GSD”.

Singaporeans who wish to have exposure to other varieties of commodity ETFs can check out those listed on the US stock market.

Fixed Income Index

Investors who wish to add stability to their portfolio or would like to receive passive income can consider buying some bond ETFs. 

The oldest bond ETF in Singapore is the ABF SG Bond ETF (SGX: A35), which was listed in 2005.

The ETF tracks the iBoxx ABF Singapore Bond Index, which contains high-quality bonds issued by the Singapore government and government-linked bodies such as the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA). 

Another fixed income ETF that investors can consider is the Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (SGX: MBH). 

It gives investors exposure to a diversified portfolio of quasi-sovereign, Singapore and foreign corporate bonds. 

The ETF aims to replicate the performance of the iBoxx SGD Non-Sovereigns Large Cap Investment Grade Index. 

The latest Singapore fixed-income ETF that was launched in early October 2020 is Phillip SGD Money Market ETF (SGX: MMS)(SGX: MMT), the first of its kind in this part of the region. 

It invests in short-term, high-quality money market securities and deposits of established financial institutions to generate returns that are comparable to Singapore-dollar savings deposits

Another recently-launched ETF is the ICBC CSOP FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index ETF (SGX: CYC)(SGX: CYB).

It is the world’s largest Chinese pure government bond ETF and the China government bonds under the ETF are A1-rated. 

List of Selected ETFs in Singapore

ETFSGX Stock CodeUnderlying IndexBoard Lot SizeTrading Currency
Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETFCLRMorningstar Singapore
REIT Yield Focus
NikkoAM-StraitsTrading Asia ex Japan REIT ETF CFA/COIFTSE EPRA/NAREIT
Asia ex Japan Net Total
Return REIT Index
Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF BYJ/BYISGX APAC ex Japan
Dividend Leaders REIT
Fixed Income
ABF Singapore Bond Index ETFA35iBoxx ABF Singapore
Bond Index
Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond
MBHiBoxx SGD Non-Sovereigns Large Cap
Investment Grade Index
Phillip SGD Money Market ETFMMS/MMTFTSE SGD 3-month SOR
ICBC CSOP FTSE Chinese Government Bond Index
Government Bond Index
iShares Barclays Capital USD Asia High Yield Bond
Index ETF
QL3/O9PBloomberg Barclays Asia
USD High Yield
Diversified Credit Index
iShares J.P. Morgan USD Asia Credit Bond Index ETFQL2/N6MJ.P. Morgan Asia Credit
Index - Core
Xtrackers II Singapore Government Bond UCITS ETFKV4Citi Singapore
Government Bond Index
Precious Metal
SPDR Gold SharesO87Spot Gold Price5USD
(from 30 June 2021)
(from 30 June 2021)
Single Market Equities
SPDR Straits Times Index ETF ES3Straits Times Index 10SGD
Nikko AM Singapore STI ETFG3BStraits Times Index 10SGD
Phillip SING Income ETFOVQMorningstar Singapore
Yield Focus Index
Xtrackers MSCI Singapore UCITS ETFO9AMSCI Singapore
Investable Market Total
Return Net Index
United SSE50 China ETFJK8SSE 50 Index100SGD
Xtrackers FTSE China 50 UCITS ETFHD8FTSE China 50 index10USD
SPDRs S&P 500 Index ETFS27S&P 500 Index10USD
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETFD07Dow Jones Industrial
Average Index
Xtrackers S&P ASX 200 UCITS ETFLF1S&P/ASX 200 Index10USD

SGX’s ETF Screener 

For investors who wish to see the full list of ETFs in Singapore or create a portfolio with ETFs, they can explore an ETF screener provided by the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

On top of showing the full list of ETFs, the SGX ETF screener provides filters to sieve out ETFs listed in Singapore by asset class, geography, benchmark, and so on.

So, if you are looking for a cool tool to choose ETFs, SGX’s is a great start!

Have Burning Questions Surrounding The Stock Market?

Why not check out our community at Seedly and participate in the lively discussion regarding ETFs and more!

Disclaimer: The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. ​Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any stock. The writer owns units in SPDR STI ETF. 

About Sudhan P
It isn't fair competition when only one company in the world makes Monopoly. But I love investing in monopolies. Before joining the Seedly hood, I had the chance to co-author a Singapore-themed investment book – "Invest Lah! The Average Joe's Guide To Investing" – and work at The Motley Fool Singapore as an analyst.
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