Top 10 ETFs bought by SRS Investors. What surprised us about what others are buying.



By Beansprout • 07 Dec 2022 • 0 min read

We recently came across a list of top traded ETF by SRS investors in Singapore, and decided to assess if it might be worthwhile topping up our SRS for ETF investments.

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What happened?

We recently came across a list of top traded ETF by SRS investors in Singapore, and thought it might be worth sharing if you’re curious what others are doing with their CPF money.

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Source: SGX


The top 10 traded ETFs by SRS investors are: 

  1. SPDR Straits Times Index ETF (ES3)
  2. Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF (HST)
  3. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (S27)
  4. Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF (CLR)
  5. SPDR Gold Shares (GSD)
  6. Nikko AM Singapore STI ETF (G3B)
  7. NikkoAM-Straits Trading Asia ex-Japan REIT ETF (CFA)
  8. Lion-OCBC Securities China Leaders ETF (YYY)
  9. ABF Singapore Bond Index ETF (A35)
  10. Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (MBH)

What we learnt from the list of top traded ETFs by SRS Investors 

According to the SGX, the combined asset size of ETF holdings directly held by SRS investors has doubled between December 2019 and December 2021.

So it does seem like more Singaporeans are using their SRS funds to invest in ETFs. 

Within the list of top 10 ETFs, there might be a few ETFs that you might find familiar. 

There are two ETFs tracking the Straits Times Index – the SPDR Straits Times Index ETF (ES3) and Nikko AM Singapore STI ETF (G3B). 

This should be largely expected as investors may like to put their money into instruments that are familiar to them. 

Hence, we were also not surprised to see two REIT ETFs in the list – the Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF (CLR) and NikkoAM-Straits Trading Asia ex-Japan REIT ETF (CFA). 

Earlier, it was also shared that the combined assets under management (AUM) of the 5 REIT ETFs listed on the SGX has doubled in 2 years to S$901 million in mid-September 2022.

But what really surprised us to see two two China-related ETFs – the Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF (HST) and Lion-OCBC Securities China Leaders ETF (YYY) appearing on the list. 

It would seem that some investors may have also decided to dollar-cost average into the Chinese market with the correction so far this year. 

Should I invest in ETFs using CPF SRS?

In case you are not familiar with the CPF SRS, it is a voluntary scheme which encourages individuals to save for retirement, beyond their CPF savings.

To summarise, it has the following key features:

  • Contributions to SRS are eligible for tax relief
  • You can invest using the funds in SRS
  • Investment returns are tax-free before withdrawal
  • Only 50% of withdrawals from SRS are taxable at retirement
  • The maximum withdrawal period is 10 years

Our guest writer earlier shared how SRS contributions can be used for personal income tax relief and tax-free investment returns.

Infographic on tax

Unlike CPF, you can invest in a wider suite of products using the SRS. This would include Singapore Savings Bonds, ETFs, and blue chip shares. 

In fact, there are even differences in the ETFs that you can purchase using your CPF and SRS. 

With CPF, you may purchase from a shorter list of government-selected ETFs. 

These include the SPDR Straits Times Index ETF and Nikko AM Singapore STI ETF which allows you to invest in the overall Singapore market, ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund which lets you invest in Singapore bonds, and SPDR Gold Shares which lets you invest in gold.

With cash and SRS, you can choose from the entire suite of SGX-listed ETFs.

How do I invest in ETFs using SRS?

Before you start investing using your SRS funds, you’ll need to satisfy the following criteria

  • At least 18 years old,
  • Not an undischarged bankrupt, and
  • Not mentally disordered and therefore capable of managing yourself and your affairs

Thereafter, you can invest your SRS funds with a few simple steps:

  • Apply for a SRS account
  • Link your SRS account and trading account
  • Execute your trade

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Source: SGX

For example, if you opened your SRS account with DBS, you can link it to your DBS Vickers Online account. 

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Source: DBS

What else do I get for buying SGX-listed ETFs using SRS?

It’s the time of the year for SRS top-ups, and a few brokers are running promotions if you trade SGX-listed ETFs using SRS.

If you are still undecided, we share more about the SRS so you can weigh the pros and cons before you start investing. 

BrokerPromotion description

Get up to S$100 commission rebate when you trade in SGX-listed ETFs using SRS. Promotion is valid till 31 Jan 2023.

Click here for promotion details.

Lim & Tan SecuritiesSign up with Lim & Tan! Get up to $1K Cash for trading. Existing clients get up to 3 x $25 vouchers for trading ETFs in your SRS account!

Click here for promotion details.
Maybank Kim EngFrom 1st Dec 2022 to 31st Jan 2023, receive $50 of shopping vouchers for every $5,000 of NikkoAM ETFs bought with your SRS, capped at $200 per client.

Click here for promotion details.
OCBC SecuritiesS$50 cash rebate for every S$1,000 in a single buy trade of Lion-OCBC Securities Singapore Low Carbon ETF. Limited redemptions only. T&Cs apply.

Click here for promotion details. 
Phillip SecuritiesTrade SGX-listed ETFs with no minimum commission today!

Click here for promotion details. 
UOB Kay HianReceive 1,500 Free Bonus Points when you invest in SGX-listed ETFs with your SRS. Promotion is valid from 21 Nov 2022 to 31 Jan 2023.

Click here for promotion details.

*Terms and conditions of participating brokers apply. Please refer to their website for more details.

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