Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

South African's favourite index-tracker exchange traded fund is the Satrix Top 40, according to the results of an online poll of 600 investors that was used to determine the winner of the Favourite ETF Award at the inaugural South African Listed Tracker Awards held at the JSE this week.

The poll was conducted by Thomson Reuters, one of the sponsors of the awards with ETF platform provider etfSA and data provider ProfileData.

Voters in the poll chose the fund for a variety of reasons, which did not always include performance, says etfSA MD Mike Brown.

If investment performance was the sole criteria, then the vote should have gone to the Satrix INDI 25, which has delivered a return of 16.9% a year on average for investors over the 10 years to the end of March. Brown says this fund, which invests narrowly in the top 25 industrial shares on the JSE, was the voters' second choice.

The Satrix Top 40, which tracks the top 40 shares by market capitalisation (the share price multiplied by the number of shares in issue), returned on average 8.4% a year for the 10 years to the end of March.

Satrix INDI 25
was the voters’
second choice.
Mike Brown
etfSA MD

Satrix's two other ETFs that invest broadly across the JSE, the Satrix Swix Top 40 fund, which tracks the shareholder weighted index (adjusted for shares that are not available on the JSE), and the Satrix Divi Plus, which tracks shares on the JSE with high dividend yields, also beat the Satrix Top 40's returns over 10 years, delivering on average 9.5% and 12.1% a year for the 10-year period.

The South African Listed Tracker Awards are made to funds with the best performance over one and three years in each of three categories: South African equity; non-equity; and foreign and commodity ETFs.

Awards for three-year performance were made to Absa Capital's NewFunds S&P Givi Resi 15 ETF in the South African equity category, to the Sygnia Itrix MSCI USA ETF in the foreign and commodity ETF category and the NewFunds Govi ETF in the South African non-equity sub-category.

The Newfunds S&P Givi Resi ETF tracks an S&P resources index of 15 shares in the energy or materials sector. These shares are selected from the universe of South African shares in the S&P Global Intrinsic Value SA Composite Index, which selects low-volatility shares on typical value-style criteria - a low price relative to expected earnings.

The Newfunds Resi ETF has returned about 14.2% a year over three years to the end of March.

The Sygnia Itrix MSCI USA ETF tracks the MSCI US index which measures the performance of 631 shares in the large- and mid- cap segments of the US market. The ETF returned on average 9.2% a year for the three years to the end of March 2018.

The NewFunds Govi ETF tracks the South African government bond index and earned a return of 8.5% a year on average for three years to the end of March.

The funds that raised the most new investments over the past year and the fund house that raised the most capital were also recognised.

Sygnia won two awards for raising the most capital following its purchase of the Itrix ETFs from Deutsche Bank and for the Itrix World ETF.

CoreShares won the third award for the most new investments for its CoreShares Top 50 ETF, which tracks the performance of the top 50 shares on the JSE with each share's weight capped at 10% of the index.

Three funds also won awards for their efficient tracking of their indices: the Standard Bank Africa Gold ETF; the Stanlib Swix 40 ETF; and NewFunds Mapps Growth ETF.