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: -4.91%
1 year: 5.47%
3 years: 8.65%
5 years: 29.71%

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 111
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Korea index tracks large and mid cap Korean stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63391 557 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI Korea UCITS ETF AccLU1900066975 81 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Korea Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292100046 73 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5W4TY14 39 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Korea UCITS ETF USDDE000A1JXC60 11 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 0.25% 10.78% 8.08% 3.04% 13.71%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Korea 5.89% -17.76% 28.79% 11.56% 3.56%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

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 0.12% 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: 12.18%
(31/03/2019)
1 ETF 1,271
(29.11.19)
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: 14.73%
(31/03/2019)
3 ETFs 1,194
(29.11.19)
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: 16.44%
(31/03/2019)
2 ETFs 1,107
(29.11.19)
The MSCI AC 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: 17.50%
(31/03/2019)
5 ETFs 1,126
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index tracks large and mid cap companies from Asian emerging markets.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1,871 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681044480 1,000 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 644 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 540 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI EM Asia Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 494 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 491 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF AccLU1900068328 381 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDDE000A1W2EK4 319 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan UCITS ETF AccLU1900068161 283 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 110 0.23% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Lyxor MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF - AccLU1781541849 60 0.12% 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 1.68% 6.89% 9.01% 10.18% 25.58%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 1.75% 6.93% 7.70% 10.86% 25.45%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 2.07% 6.82% 8.95% 10.98% 24.64%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 1.52% 6.00% 7.48% 11.46% 23.04%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 14.92% -11.64% 24.79% 8.79% -0.05%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 15.40% -11.69% 24.08% 8.98% 0.21%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 15.49% -11.47% 24.22% 8.07% 0.45%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 15.85% -10.40% 19.27% 8.95% 0.05%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR 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 14 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 0.14% 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: 13.02%
(31/03/2019)
13 ETFs 1,410
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Emerging Markets index tracks stocks from emerging markets worldwide.
Index factsheet
S&P SMIT 40 Emerging Markets
South Korea: 25.62%
(31/03/2019)
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 EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 3,024 0.75% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681045370 2,761 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF 1CIE00BTJRMP35 2,337 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 1,278 0.22% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 1,272 0.49% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF C-EURFR0010429068 1,069 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 579 0.68% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B3DWVS88 502 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 397 0.42% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
ComStage MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFLU0635178014 318 0.14% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi Index MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DR EUR (D)LU1737652583 231 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDDE000A1JXC94 157 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Deka MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFDE000ETFL342 38 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Germany Unfunded swap
ComStage S&P SMIT 40 Index 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 0.65% 5.60% 8.69% 7.39% 9.07%
MSCI Emerging Markets 1.80% 6.37% 7.25% 10.09% 22.98%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
S&P SMIT 40 11.75% -18.07% 15.57% 10.42% -11.88%
MSCI Emerging Markets 14.06% -11.07% 19.96% 14.16% -5.63%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.