Matthews Asia adds active Korean equity ETF

Jul 20th, 2023 | By | Category: Equities

San Francisco-based Matthews Asia, a specialist in emerging markets investing, has launched a new ETF providing actively managed exposure to Korean equities.

Matthews Asia adds active Korean equity ETF

Matthews Asia has over 30 years of experience investing in Korean equities.

The Matthews Korea Active ETF (MKOR US) has been listed on NYSE Arca with an expense ratio of 0.79%.

A recognized leader in the semiconductor industry, Korea is also home to a broad range of innovative businesses that encompass diverse sectors including new energy vehicles, information technology, biopharmaceuticals, e-commerce, and entertainment.

In addition to global leaders, Korea offers many domestic companies that are transforming into global brands. Its economy benefits from strong export ties to other global growth markets as well as a large, growing domestic consumer base.

Harnessing 30 years of experience investing in Korean equities, Matthews Asia seeks to achieve an attractive total return for the ETF by investing in a concentrated all-cap portfolio diversified across a broad range of sectors. Portfolio managers Michael Oh, Elli Lee, and Sojung Park employ a deep fundamental, research-driven approach to invest in around just 30 businesses.

The core investment approach at Matthews Asia involves seeking out companies capable of sustainable growth. Stock selection is based on superior industry positions as well as fundamental characteristics including balance sheet strength, number of employees, size and stability of cash flow, the depth and adaptability of management, and the strength of corporate governance.

Matthews Asia offers a further four ETFs – three of these funds provide actively managed sector-diversified exposure to equities within emerging markets, emerging markets ex-China, and Chinese universes. The fourth invests in developed and emerging market stocks from the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, focusing on innovative companies within science and technology-related sectors.

Commenting on the new listing, Cooper Abbott, CEO of Matthews Asia, said: “Our research-driven Korea equity team is dedicated to delivering results for investors. Active, single country strategies such as MKOR provide investors with the “power of choice” to selectively express their investment views—both strategically and tactically—and gain differentiated exposures to companies not typically found in broad International strategies or the U.S. Given the range of investment opportunities we find in South Korea, it should be considered alongside other more established single country strategies such as Japan, India, the US, and China.”

Elli Lee, Lead Manager of MKOR, added: “With strong ties to the US, South Korea’s open economy provides a deep investment universe for both established and truly innovative companies. It is one of the few countries in the world that has many unique businesses that cannot be easily replaced and are being managed by highly driven, entrepreneurial owners who aspire to create global brands. As an investor in South Korea, I can see that its investment in research and development (R&D), strong work ethic, and a highly educated workforce is creating a virtuous cycle of innovative advancements that now positions it as one the most exciting countries to invest in.”

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