The total net asset of ETFs in Korea exceeded 21 trillion won (US$17.5 billion) last year for the first time ever.
The Korea Exchange announced on Jan. 7 that the amount increased by 10 percent to 21.63 trillion won last year. The previous high had been 19.656 trillion won, recorded in 2014.
In the following year, bond investments become more attractive than before based on lower interest rates, and this boosted the net assets of domestic bond ETFs by 50 percent, or 1.5299 trillion won. That of domestic index ETFs edged up by 6.4 percent or 766.7 billion won, with the Korean stock market moving sideways for years, whereas that of overseas index ETFs soared by 47.3 percent or 494.8 billion won.
The total trading value reached US$140 billion last year, ranking eighth in the world behind those of Germany and Euronext. The daily average trading value increased 1.1 percent from a year ago to 696.1 billion won. Individual investors accounted for 37.4 percent of the value, followed by institutional investors (22 percent), foreign investors (21.9 percent) and liquidity providers (18.6 percent).
Last year, 45 new ETFs were listed and 19 were delisted. A total of 198 ETFs were available at the end of last month, second to none in Asia. The rates of return of domestic and overseas index ETFs were 3.8 percent and -4.1 percent, respectively.