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DBS Asset Management and SGX launch Singapore index ETF

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DBS Asset Management and Singapore Exchange have announced the launch of the DBS Singapore STI ETF on SGX, on 25 February.

DBS Asset Management and Singapore Exchange have announced the launch of the DBS Singapore STI ETF on SGX, on 25 February.

It will be the first of a series of new SGX-listed exchange traded funds by DBS Asset Management.

The DBS Singapore STI ETF seeks to track the performance of the Straits Times Index, which is composed of 30 of the largest and most liquid companies in Singapore. The ETF is designed for investors looking for a medium-term investment horizon.

Deborah Ho, chief executive of DBS Asset Management, says: ‘It is in challenging times like these that investors should focus their attention on the true nature of long-term wealth management – low-cost, effective and liquid access to opportunities for compounding growth in investments. SGX and DBSAM’s endeavour will provide precisely such ETF products to Asian investors buying Asia, as well as to global investors who wish to buy into Asia.’

The initial offer period of the ETF is from 12 to 18 February 2009. Members of the public can apply for the shares through DBS and POSB ATMs or DBS Vickers Securities. Investors can trade shares through their brokers.

The launch follows a memorandum of understanding between DBS Asset Management and SGX with the intention of developing a suite of ETF products dealing with a variety of Asian stock market indices and their underlying assets.

The alliance aims to establish Singapore as Asia’s regional investment and wealth-management gateway by jointly developing, promoting and distributing SGX-listed ETF products.

‘We are proud and excited to be working closely with SGX to further develop Singapore’s capabilities in asset, capital and financial risk management,’ Ho says. ‘Both DBS and SGX are anchors in the regional capital markets, and we intend to bring our full resources to provide transparent and effective access products for both professional and retail investors.’

Chew Sutat, SGX executive vice-president and head of market development, adds: ‘SGX is pleased that DBS has launched an ETF on the Straits Times Index, and to sign a memorandum of understanding with them.

‘The memorandum of understanding signals our commitment to working with a local asset manager on product innovation in developing new types of ETFs that will cater to the local market. These include ETFs on the FTSE Straits Times Index Series, as well as those that are suitable for retirement or regular savings. The new products will leverage the strengths of SGX’s and DBS’s distribution channels in the region.’

With the launch of this ETF, SGX has 25 ETFs covering mainly Asian equity markets such as Singapore, India, greater China, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, Korea and Japan as well as commodities, including gold.

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