A Nasdaq employee works at the Nasdaq Market site, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Following the launch of three global exchange traded funds (ETFs) last year, Satrix is adding the Satrix Nasdaq 100 ETF to its stable. The fund tracks the Nasdaq-100 index, which comprises the 100 largest, non-financial companies on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The Nasdaq-100 index is a market cap weighted index that is tech heavy but also includes industrial, technology, retail, telecommunication, biotechnology, health care, transportation, media and service companies. The likes of Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and PayPal form part of the index.

“The Nasdaq-100 is the benchmark for the new industrials - the global companies changing the way we work, socialise, transact, and move every single day,” says Dave Gedeon, vice president and head of global index research and product development for Nasdaq Global Indexes. “From technology to medicine to industry, there is no corner of innovation that Nasdaq-100 does not reach, and now investors in South Africa are able to access these innovative names in an ETF wrapper for the first time.”

The Satrix Nasdaq 100 ETF is a rand-denominated offshore fund. You don’t need SARS tax clearance to invest in this ETF as your investment is made in rand and will be paid out in rand on disinvestment in South Africa.

The initial public offering for the Satrix Nasdaq 100 ETF opened on Wednesday, March 14 and runs to March 28. The anticipated JSE listing date is Tuesday, April 10.


Bond ETF

Meanwhile, Ashburton Investments, the asset management arm of the FirstRand group, listed the Ashburton World Government Bond Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) this week.

The new ETF will track the Citi World Government Bond Index, which invests in fixed-rate, investment-grade sovereign bonds from more than 20 developed and emerging market countries.

Samantha Schoeman, the head of index tracking at Ashburton, says: "We have had strong interest in the new ETF since the initial offering opened and we expect it to be popular with South African investors looking to diversify their portfolio holdings. It will provide retail and institutional investors with easy exposure to the world's bond markets in one low-cost, tax-efficient ETF."

The biggest holdings in the ETF are government bonds from the US (33.6%), Japan (19.7%) and France (8.4%).  

Schoeman says bonds are an essential part of balanced portfolios and, as with share investing, it is prudent for South African investors to hold international bonds alongside local ones to benefit from diversification.

The listing will be in rands, meaning that local investors will not have to use offshore allowances to invest. The minimum investment amount is R5 000 and in increments of R1 000 thereafter. There is no upper limit.

The targeted total expense ratio is expected to be between 0.40% and 0.45%.