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Taiwan’s first active ETF to debut by year-end, market seen to hit NT$200 billion

ETF
By Hui Ching-hoo   
June 20, 2024

Taiwan’s financial regulator is preparing for the launch of active exchange-traded funds as early as year-end, and estimates the market’s initial size could reach as high as NT$200 billion (US$6.18 billion).

Active ETFs invest in a portfolio of securities that are selected by asset managers for specific purposes, unlike traditional or passive ETFs which track the underlying index.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has kicked off preparatory tasks for the introduction of active ETFs and says market consultations suggest 15 of Taiwan’s 68 asset managers are looking to launch the funds, including one or two foreign firms that have no local ETF experience. It expects the first fund to be launched between late 2024 and early 2025.

“The asset management industry pins high hopes on the potential of active ETFs,” the regulator says in a statement on June 17. “We estimate that the initial size of the active ETF market can reach NT$200 billion.”

The FSC studied foreign experience with active ETFs during the consultations and found that in South Korea, active ETFs accounted for around 30% share of total ETF assets whereas in the US, the share was just 6.4%.

The regulator says the wide disparity meant it was important to consult market players on an appropriate share between active and passive ETFs, and the diversity of product mix.

Taiwan is one of the fastest growing ETF markets in Asia Pacific, with fund assets almost doubling to NT$5.04 trillion in May 2024 from NT$2.89 trillion a year ago, driven by an influx of millennial investors.

According to figures from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, global active ETF assets jumped from less than $200 billion in 2018 to more than $700 billion in 2023.