Nikko AM launches first Asia-listed MSCI Japan ETF

NikkoNikko Asset Management has launched the first Tokyo-listed ETF (exchange traded fund) tracking the MSCI Japan Index and promised it to be one of the lowest cost ETF products linked to this index.

The Japanese firm continued its foray into ETFs and now has fourteen index-linked vehicles, including nine offering access to Japanese equities. The latest product is designed to link its performance to the MSCI Japan Index and was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in late July.

Although there are ETFs tracking the MSCI Japan Index listed on other exchanges in the West, such as NYSE Arca, Nikko’s product is the first to be listed in Asia. The firm said this offered increased investor convenience. In a statement, Nikko AM, said: “As this Japanese equity-linked ETF and the equities that make up the ETF will be traded at the same time of day, theoretically there is a smaller likelihood of deviations between ETF prices and estimated net assets per unit.”

The new ETF also promised to be one of the cheapest products available in the sector. “The annual trust fee is 0.16%, which is one of the lowest rates in the world among ETFs linked to the MSCI Japan Index,” the firm said.

Koei Imai, head of Nikko AM's ETF centre, said: “TSE’s 2009 statistics on investment trends by investor category show that approximately 40% of transactions are made by foreign investors.” By listing its product on the TSE Nikko hoped to contribute to the revitalistion of the Tokyo market.

Nikko AM also offers ETFs linked to the MSCI-KOKUSAI Index and MSCI Emerging Markets Index and plans to continue to expand its ETF lineup.

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