How to invest in South Korea using ETFs

How do I invest in South Korean stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole South Korean stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs. ETFs.

On the South Korean stock market you find 1 index, which is tracked by ETFs.

Alternatively, you can invest in indices on the Asia-Pacific region and Emerging Markets. The S&P SMIT 40 Index contains the largest share of South Korea with around 25%.

0.45% p.a. - 0.74% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of South Korea ETFs
on the South Korean stock market, which is tracked by ETFs
on the South Korean stock market
The best indices for South Korea ETFs

Performance of South Korean stocks (MSCI Korea)

1 month: -12.40%
1 year: -22.46%
3 years: 22.95%
5 years: 5.76%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on South Korea

For an investment in the South Korean stock market, 1 index tracked by 5 ETFs are available. On the MSCI Korea index there are 5 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.45% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

MSCI Korea

South Korea 5 ETFs 115
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Korea (total return) index tracks large and mid cap Korean stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63391 639 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI Korea UCITS ETF C-EURLU1900066975 97 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Korea Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292100046 81 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5W4TY14 58 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Korea UCITS ETF USDIE00B3Z0X395 9 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Korea 2.80% -2.48% 9.04% -16.67% 32.38%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Korea 8.87% -20.81% 40.32% 10.57% -6.68%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/04/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

The best South Korea ETFs
by 1 year return

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The cheapest South Korea ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

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Alternative investment opportunities

Asia-Pacific indices with a large share of South Korea

Besides South Korea ETFs, you may consider ETFs on the Asia-Pacific region. In total, you can invest in 4 Asia-Pacific indices, which are tracked by 11 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Asia-Pacific is between 0.20% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Asia Pacific
South Korea: 14,45%
(29/12/2017)
2 ETFs 1,031
(31/03/19)
The MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the Asia and Pacific region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Asia Pacific
South Korea: 17,73%
(29/12/2017)
2 ETFs 955
(31/03/19)
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the Asia region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan Asia Pacific
South Korea: 19,74%
(29/12/2017)
2 ETFs 874
(31/03/19)
The MSCI AC (All Cap) Far East ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the East Asian region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Asia Pacific
South Korea: 21,02%
(29/12/2017)
5 ETFs 883
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index tracks large and mid cap companies from Asian emerging markets.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 2,112 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF - EUR (C)LU1681044480 1,513 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 701 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF - USDLU1681044563 652 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 577 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI EM Asia Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 573 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 495 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF AccLU1900068328 438 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 301 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 98 0.32% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF USDLU1900068674 22 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 4.29% 8.70% 19.84% -2.83% 50.98%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 4.47% 8.45% 20.43% -2.72% 49.92%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 4.34% 9.04% 20.73% -1.89% 49.77%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 4.23% 8.94% 18.97% -0.69% 45.34%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 16.92% -14.90% 36.03% 7.76% -9.93%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 17.12% -13.71% 29.97% 7.99% -9.84%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 18.05% -14.95% 35.22% 8.01% -9.70%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 18.44% -14.96% 35.20% 7.10% -9.49%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/04/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Emerging markets indices with a large share of South Korea

Besides South Korea ETFs you may consider emerging markets ETFs. In total, you can invest in 2 emerging markets indices, which are tracked by 17 ETFs. The S&P SMIT 40 Index contains the largest share of South Korea with around 25%. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on emerging markets is between 0.20% p.a. and 0.75% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI Emerging Markets Emerging Markets
South Korea: 15.39%
(29/12/2017)
16 ETFs 1,136
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Emerging Markets index tracksstocks from emerging markets world wide.
Index factsheet
S&P SMIT 40 Emerging Markets
South Korea: 26.70%
(29/12/2017)
1 ETF 40
The S&P SMIT 40 index tracks the 40 leading companies in four emerging markets: South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. Every September the weight of each country is rebalanced to 25%.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 4,270 0.75% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - EUR (C)LU1681045370 3,440 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - USDLU1681045453 3,035 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF 1CIE00BTJRMP35 1,939 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 1,687 0.49% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI Emerging Markets SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B3Z3FS74 1,332 0.22% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 1,274 0.22% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF C-EURFR0010429068 1,271 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-accLU0950674175 994 0.22% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B3DWVS88 714 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 699 0.68% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 349 0.42% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
ComStage MSCI Emerging Markets TRN UCITS ETFLU0635178014 348 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDIE00B5SSQT16 242 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF C-USDFR0010435297 219 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-UKdisLU1126036976 44 0.22% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
ComStage S&P SMIT 40 Index TRN UCITS ETFLU0860821874 4 0.58% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
S&P SMIT 40 4.14% -3.22% 11.59% -9.82% 10.47%
MSCI Emerging Markets 4.56% 6.59% 17.84% -2.91% 42.97%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
S&P SMIT 40 9.63% -21.39% 25.92% 9.66% -20.78%
MSCI Emerging Markets 15.97% -14.35% 30.72% 13.13% -14.94%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/04/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.