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: -1.04%
1 year: -15.16%
3 years: 46.59%
5 years: 33.03%

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 114
(31/08/18)
The MSCI Korea (total return) index tracks large and mid cap Korean stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63391 401 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI Korea UCITS ETF C-EURFR0010361691 147 0.45% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Korea Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292100046 85 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5W4TY14 34 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Korea UCITS ETF USDIE00B3Z0X395 7 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 3.88% -8.97% -12.71% -13.14% 46.40%
Index   2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
MSCI Korea -15.18% 33.48% 30.12% -2.42% -7.05%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/11/18; Calculations in GBP 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 10 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: 14,45%
(29/12/2017)
1 ETF 1,013
(31/08/18)
The MSCI AC (All Cap) Asia Pacific ex Japan (price-) 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 939
(31/08/18)
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: 19,74%
(29/12/2017)
2 ETFs 855
(31/08/18)
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 867
(31/08/18)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index tracks large and mid cap companies from Asian emerging markets.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1,733 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF - USDLU1681044563 522 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI EM Asia Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 478 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 427 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 402 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 392 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF C-EURFR0010312124 301 0.60% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 258 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 81 0.32% 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 AC Far East ex Japan 7.07% -6.14% -8.81% -5.95% 51.21%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 7.66% -6.46% -7.86% -5.68% 52.33%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 7.61% -6.03% -7.65% -5.09% 51.17%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 6.58% -6.31% -6.73% -3.56% 49.06%
Index   2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia -7.86% 29.44% 27.16% -5.69% 10.74%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -7.81% 28.59% 27.11% -5.57% 8.54%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan -7.60% 28.95% 26.11% -5.38% 10.26%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan -6.49% 23.61% 27.08% -5.73% 8.46%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/11/18; Calculations in GBP 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 10 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)
10 ETFs 1,136
(31/08/18)
The MSCI Emerging Markets index tracks stocks from emerging markets world wide (end of day).
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 3,730 0.75% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - USDLU1681045453 1,855 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 1,356 0.49% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF 1CIE00BTJRMP35 892 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 826 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 529 0.68% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B3DWVS88 475 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 214 0.42% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDIE00B5SSQT16 191 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF C-USDFR0010435297 166 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets 6.25% -3.77% -5.63% -4.58% 51.42%
Index   2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets -7.51% 24.34% 33.15% -11.09% 3.09%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/11/18; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.