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'll find 3 indices which are tracked by ETFs.

Alternatively, you can invest in indices on the Asia-Pacific region and Emerging Markets.

0,09% p.a. - 0,74% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of South Korea ETFs
on the South Korean stock market, which are tracked by ETFs
on the South Korean stock market
 
The best indices for South Korea ETFs

Performance of South Korean stocks (MSCI Korea 20/35)

1 month: -16,25%
1 year: -29,89%
3 years: -0,74%
5 years: -7,19%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on South Korea

For an investment in the South Korean stock market, there are 3 indices available which are tracked by 6 ETFs. On the FTSE Korea 30/18 Capped index there is 1 ETF. On the MSCI Korea 20/35 index there are 4 ETFs. On the MSCI Korea 20/35 Custom index there is 1 ETF. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0,09% p.a. and 0,74% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

FTSE Korea 30/18 Capped

Corea del Sur 1 ETF 161
(31/3/22)
The FTSE Korea 30/18 Capped index tracks the largest stocks from South Korea. The largest company in the index is limited to a maximum of 30 percent of the index capitalization, all other index components to a maximum of 18 percent.
Index factsheet

MSCI Korea 20/35

Corea del Sur 4 ETFs 111
(31/3/22)
The MSCI Korea 20/35 index tracks large and mid cap Korean stocks. The weight of the largest constituent is constrained to 35% and the weights of all other constituents are constrained to a maximum of 20%.
Index factsheet

MSCI Korea 20/35 Custom

Corea del Sur 1 ETF 111
(31/3/22)
The MSCI Korea 20/35 Custom index tracks large and mid cap Korean stocks. The weight of the largest constituent is constrained to 35% and the weights of all other constituents are constrained to a maximum of 20%. A buffer of 10% is applied on these limits at each index rebalancing.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
Franklin FTSE Korea UCITS ETFIE00BHZRR030 306 0,09% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63391 255 0,74% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5W4TY14 83 0,65% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
Lyxor MSCI Korea UCITS ETF - AccLU1900066975 67 0,45% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
Xtrackers MSCI Korea UCITS ETF 1CLU0292100046 64 0,65% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Replicación física perfecta
HSBC MSCI Korea Capped UCITS ETF USDIE00B3Z0X395 47 0,50% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Korea 20/35 Custom -15,02% -11,16% -24,70% -29,98% -0,79%
MSCI Korea 20/35 -14,47% -11,11% -24,68% -29,89% -0,74%
FTSE Korea 30/18 Capped -14,44% -11,02% -24,41% -29,34% 2,82%
Index   2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
MSCI Korea 20/35 -30,45% -0,94% 30,84% 14,25% -17,76%
MSCI Korea 20/35 Custom -30,44% -0,85% 31,07% 13,98% -17,95%
FTSE Korea 30/18 Capped -30,03% 1,04% 32,81% - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/9/22; Calculations in EUR 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 3 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
FTSE Developed Asia Pacific ex Japan Asia Pacífico
South Korea: 29,49%
(31/05/2022)
2 ETFs 415
(31/3/22)
The FTSE Developed Asia Pacific ex Japan index tracks large and mid cap stocks from developed countries in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan Asia Pacífico
South Korea: 16,95%
(31/05/2022)
4 ETFs 1.092
(31/8/22)
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 Pacífico
South Korea: 16,24%
(31/05/2022)
5 ETFs 1.147
(31/8/22)
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 EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 1.571 0,20% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681044480 1.125 0,20% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1.045 0,74% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 913 0,55% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
Vanguard FTSE Developed Asia Pacific ex Japan UCITS ETF DistributingIE00B9F5YL18 734 0,15% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF USDLU1681044563 730 0,20% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 374 0,45% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
Lyxor MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF - AccLU1781541849 175 0,12% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
Vanguard FTSE Developed Asia Pacific ex Japan UCITS ETF AccIE00BK5BQZ41 127 0,15% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00BKPX3K41 72 0,74% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Replicación física perfecta
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00022VXYM7 2 0,45% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -10,82% -11,88% -14,29% -19,41% -1,47%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia -9,98% -8,35% -11,66% -16,23% 8,13%
FTSE Developed Asia Pacific ex Japan -10,14% -4,92% -14,59% -10,62% 8,68%
Index   2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -18,77% -2,74% 14,54% 20,95% -11,69%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia -16,21% 1,48% 16,79% 20,75% -12,01%
FTSE Developed Asia Pacific ex Japan -12,70% 9,46% 8,65% 19,20% -10,31%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/9/22; 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 1 emerging markets index, which is tracked by 16 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on emerging markets is between 0,15% p.a. and 0,55% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI Emerging Markets Mercados emergentes
South Korea: 12,73%
(31/05/2022)
16 ETFs 1.382
(31/8/22)
The MSCI Emerging Markets index tracks stocks from emerging markets worldwide.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF 1CIE00BTJRMP35 4.192 0,18% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
iShares MSCI EM UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 3.214 0,18% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DRLU1437017350 2.452 0,20% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Replicación física perfecta
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681045370 1.901 0,20% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
iShares MSCI EM UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 1.225 0,18% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 1.157 0,23% p.a. Distribución Luxemburgo Optimizada muestreo
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDIE00B5SSQT16 988 0,15% p.a. Distribución Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDLU1681045453 857 0,20% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - Acc EURFR0010429068 812 0,55% p.a. Acumulación Francia Swap sin fondos
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 700 0,49% p.a. Acumulación Luxemburgo Swap sin fondos
Invesco MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B3DWVS88 393 0,19% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Swap sin fondos
Amundi Index MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DR EUR (D)LU1737652583 324 0,20% p.a. Distribución Luxemburgo Replicación física perfecta
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 276 0,42% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - Acc USDFR0010435297 126 0,55% p.a. Acumulación Francia Swap sin fondos
Amundi Index MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DR - USD (D)LU2277591868 121 0,20% p.a. Distribución Luxemburgo Replicación física perfecta
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE000KCS7J59 65 0,15% p.a. Acumulación Irlanda Optimizada muestreo
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets -10,18% -7,02% -12,38% -15,84% 2,97%
Index   2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets -16,52% 5,39% 8,01% 20,90% -11,48%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/9/22; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.