Malaysia’s exchange-traded fund (ETF) industry assets fell 8.97% in the first quarter driven by a decline in bond funds.
The ETF market’s total assets as of March 31 was 2.03 billion ringgit (US$490 million), down from 2.23 billion ringgit at the end of 2020, according to data published on the website of the Securities Commission Malaysia. The regulator typically posts the data without providing analysis.
ETF assets were dragged down partly by a decline in funds with exposure to Malaysian bonds, according to a fund manager at a Malaysian asset management company.
“Overall, there’s increasing optimism that Malaysia’s economy will pick up this year, as the [Covid-19] vaccination programme is underway, hence you will start to see investors reducing exposure to safe haven assets,” he tells Asia Asset Management, speaking on condition of anonymity.
On a monthly basis, the value of ETFs traded plunged 26.75% to 12.32 million ringgit in March and the trade volume fell 18.49% to 4.76 million.