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%.

0.60% 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: 7.28%
1 year: 57.85%
3 years: 41.45%
5 years: 68.72%

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 GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63391 376 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
db x-trackers MSCI Korea Index UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0292100046 118 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Korea UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5W4TY14 48 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Korea UCITS ETF USDIE00B3Z0X395 8 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI Korea UCITS ETF C-USDFR0010581447 4 0.65% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Korea -3.31% 4.48% 8.14% 37.70% 36.42%
Index   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
MSCI Korea 12.15% 29.92% -2.39% -7.05% 0.76%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/04/17; 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 8 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)
1 ETF 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)
2 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 GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1,582 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 503 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 468 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 261 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 243 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF USDFR0011018316 172 0.20% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 156 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF C-USDFR0010581439 36 0.60% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan -2.92% 4.18% 3.69% 34.52% 41.47%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -2.26% 4.43% 2.87% 35.52% 44.81%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan -2.17% 4.97% 3.01% 35.87% 47.74%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia -2.22% 5.15% 3.20% 37.01% 47.97%
Index   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 8.73% 27.47% -5.63% 8.16% 0.27%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 9.61% 26.92% -5.61% 8.53% 0.29%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 10.00% 26.92% -5.97% 10.30% -1.27%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 10.06% 26.11% -5.38% 10.26% -0.24%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/04/17; 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 2 emerging markets indices, which are 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: 14.27%
(31/10/2016)
9 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
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 4,053 0.75% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
db x-trackers MSCI Emerging Markets Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 1,482 0.49% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDFR0010959692 1,006 0.20% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 943 0.68% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 694 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDIE00B5SSQT16 260 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Source MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF AIE00B3DWVS88 195 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF C-USDFR0010435297 188 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 180 0.42% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR MSCI EM Beyond BRIC UCITS ETFIE00BCBJFC69 3 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Beyond BRIC -2.66% 4.70% 1.30% 25.76% 24.34%
MSCI Emerging Markets -2.79% 3.85% 2.06% 33.39% 33.30%
Index   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Beyond BRIC 7.39% 30.70% -13.87% 4.25% -
MSCI Emerging Markets 8.17% 32.93% -11.04% 3.13% -6.06%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/04/17; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.