Japan Listed ETF Useful List – 7 Tokyo Exchange Traded Funds Worth Considering By Foreign Investors

I find it important to look at exchange traded funds (“ETF”) as a benchmark for what investments in stocks, bonds, or real estate investment trusts (REITs) could be doing as a “fire and forget” trade to track a broad benchmark index with minimal transactional and ongoing costs. ย The US remains by far the largest, most diverse, most liquid, and most competitively priced ETF market in the world, and although I have written on why I prefer investing, especially in stocks, through direct stock portfolios rather than ETFs, I continue to use US-listed ETF dashboards to watch how world equity markets are doing (foreign bond ETFs are still an extremely underdeveloped market).

It should be somewhat surprising that a market like Japan, whose total investable savings to invest arguably exceed even that of the entire United States, has a far more limited ETF market than the US, both in size and variety. ย I believe one main reason for this is how investment products are still distributed in Asia: while the US has been increasingly shifting to a transparent fee-only fiduciary model for many investments, many stock and bond products in Asia are still sold by commission-paid agents who would not get paid as much to sell an ETF as a 5% variable annuity.

Below I list the 7 Japan Listed ETFs I find most useful to foreign investors. ย These are, not surprisingly, topped by two major Japanese index ETFs, followed by two foreign bond ETFs (Japan does not have much of a credit bond or high yield market, which would be attractive for Yen-yield seekers), and three J-REIT ETFs. ย The list and data are from Japan Exchange Group, owner of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), which has an overview, list, and “database” of Japan Listed ETFs.

In earlier posts, I also listed 50 Japanese REITs (J-REITs) and how Japan’s REIT market compares with other major REIT markets globally.

Japan Listed ETF beige list

TSE CodeFund NameUnderlying IndexFund AdministratorTrading
Daily Average Trading Value
(In 2016, thousand JPY)
Net Assets
_As of December 30, 2016, milion JPY)
Management Expense Ratio
(excluding tax, per annum)
Market Price (Closing Price)
_As of December 30, 2016, JPY_
Gross Dividend Paid
_In 2016, JPY_
12 month Dividend Yield
_In 2016_
CategoryBloomberg Data
1305Daiwa ETF-TOPIXTOPIXDaiwa Asset Management10494,009 1,811,059 0.110%1,578 26.001.65%Japan Large Caphttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/TOPIX:JP
1593MAXIS JPX-Nikkei Index 400 ETFJPX-Nikkei Index 400Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management1160,852 162,169 0.078%13,910 197.001.42%Japan Broad Markethttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/JPX-Nikkei Index 400:JP
1590iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF-JDRDow Jones U.S. Real Estate IndexBlackRock Fund Advisors14,994 495,255 0.440%8,800 312.003.55%US Real Estatehttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index:JP
1362iShares J.P. Morgan EM Local Govt Bond UCITS ETF USD (Dist)-JDR (Note1)J.P. Morgan GBI - EM Global Diversified 10% Cap 1% Floor (Note1)BlackRock Asset Management Ireland Limited14,860 402,176 0.500%7,230 372.005.15%Emerging Market USD Bondshttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/J.P. Morgan GBI - EM Global Diversified 10% Cap 1% Floor (Note1):JP
1343NEXT FUNDS REIT INDEX ETFTokyo Stock Exchange REIT IndexNomura Asset Management10277,139 226,157 0.320%1,968 54.602.77%Japan Real Estatehttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Index:JP
1345Listed Index Fund J-REIT (Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Index)Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT IndexNikko Asset Management10065,902 133,086 0.300%1,869 54.462.91%Japan Real Estatehttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Index:JP
1595NZAM ETF J-REIT IndexTokyo Stock Exchange REIT IndexNorinchukin Zenkyoren Asset Management102,243 81,825 0.248%1,844 53.902.92%Japan Real Estatehttps://www.bloomberg.com/quote/Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Index:JP

The header image is one I took of some of the best Okonomiyaki in Osaka. ย To a Japan quantitative investing geek like me, slicing it this way reminds me of the limited asset allocation I can do with Japan listed ETFs so far.

Keen to hear your questions, will post more lists soon,