Asia not really ready for ETFs

Says BGI, which has built an ETF business for outsiders seeking Asia exposure.

Of all the Asian markets for exchange-traded funds, Korea is the most promising, says Robert Haber, the San Francisco-based managing director and Asia ex-Japan CEO at Barclays Global Investors. Given the high profile of equity ETFs in Hong Kong, Taiwan and now China, that seems an odd statement. The Hong Kong Tracker Fund has been very popular since its inception in 1999 and has $3,677 million of assets. The Taiwan Top 50 Tracker Fund TTT has grown rapidly since its launch in 2003, with $1,343 million of assets.

But Korea, where regulators allowed different managers to list ETFs based on the same index, doesn't appear to have been as...

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