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.

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%.

0.60% 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: 3.41%
1 year: 15.40%
3 years: 18.15%
5 years: 32.90%

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 0.60% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

MSCI Korea

South Korea 5 ETFs 107
(31.10.16)
The MSCI Korea (total return) 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 423 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
db x-trackers MSCI Korea Index UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0292100046 132 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI Korea C-EURFR0010361691 75 0.65% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5W4TY14 40 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Korea UCITS ETF USDDE000A1JXC60 8 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 -0.12% -0.09% 14.13% 4.93% 10.70%
Index   2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
2012
in %
MSCI Korea 10.96% 3.59% -0.49% -1.40% 19.03%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.16; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

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

Show all
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: 13.40%
(31/10/2016)
1 ETF 701
(31.10.16)
The MSCI AC (All Cap) 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: 16.94%
(31/10/2016)
3 ETFs 622
(31.10.16)
The MSCI AC (All Cap) 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: 18.82%
(31/10/2016)
3 ETFs 548
(31.10.16)
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: 20.34%
(31/10/2016)
4 ETFs 550
(31.10.16)
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 1,450 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF EURFR0011020965 632 0.20% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 557 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 458 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan C-EURFR0010312124 268 0.60% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 248 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan C-EURFR0010652867 192 0.50% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B5L8K969 191 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDDE000A1W2EK4 158 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 56 0.37% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
db x-trackers MSCI AC Far East ex Japan Index UCITS ETF (DR) 2CIE00BGDWNL65 19 0.70% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan -0.50% 1.59% 13.28% 5.72% 26.50%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia -0.80% 1.07% 13.84% 5.87% 27.00%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 0.00% 2.24% 14.22% 6.35% 24.64%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 0.76% 2.30% 13.02% 6.84% 24.10%
Index   2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
2012
in %
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 9.41% 0.45% 18.00% -2.34% 18.82%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 9.63% 0.05% 16.05% -1.83% 19.34%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 9.76% -0.05% 18.70% -3.15% 18.18%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 10.95% 0.18% 16.09% -1.88% 18.84%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.16; 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 3 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 0.20% 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: 14.27%
(31/10/2016)
12 ETFs 833
(31.10.16)
The MSCI Emerging Markets index tracks stocks from emerging markets world wide (end of day).
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Beyond BRIC Emerging Markets
South Korea: 14.90%
(31/10/2016)
1 ETF 530
(31.10.16)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Beyond BRIC index tracks stocks from emerging markets worldwide excluding Brazil, Russia, India and China ("BRIC"). In addition, to provide greater country diversification, the weight of each single country is capped on a quarterly basis at 15%.
Index factsheet
S&P SMIT 40 Emerging Markets
South Korea: 24.80%
(31/10/2016)
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 4,064 0.75% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI Emerging Markets SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B3Z3FS74 2,329 0.34% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF EURFR0010959676 1,416 0.20% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI Emerging Markets Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 1,406 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF C-EURFR0010429068 1,378 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 691 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 461 0.68% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDDE000A1JXC94 245 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
ComStage MSCI Emerging Markets TRN UCITS ETFLU0635178014 157 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Source MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF ADE000A1JM6G3 146 0.54% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 127 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Deka MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFDE000ETFL342 16 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Germany Unfunded swap
ComStage S&P SMIT 40 Index TRN UCITS ETFLU0860821874 10 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Beyond BRIC UCITS ETFIE00BCBJFC69 6 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
S&P SMIT 40 -7.06% -4.00% 5.99% 2.19% 6.06%
MSCI Emerging Markets Beyond BRIC -3.87% -2.49% 6.80% 2.86% 8.28%
MSCI Emerging Markets -1.94% 0.86% 13.04% 7.10% 14.05%
Index   2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
2012
in %
S&P SMIT 40 7.12% -11.88% 18.60% - -
MSCI Emerging Markets Beyond BRIC 8.73% -8.61% 11.60% - -
MSCI Emerging Markets 12.84% -5.55% 10.33% -8.12% 14.89%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.16; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.