Increased choice and competition are reducing the cost of easy-to-use index-tracking offshore investments. After many years of a relatively narrow range of seven exchange-traded funds and index-tracking unit trust funds - offering low-cost exposure to offshore markets without having to convert rands into foreign currency - five new funds have launched over the past year, including three Satrix ETFs with a low targeted cost of between 0.25% and 0.4% a year. The Satrix funds track the Morgan Stanley Capital World index, the MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market index and the S&P500. And the Financial Services Board and the JSE are processing a number of applications for new ETFs tracking offshore indices. Among them are applications from Sygnia, which last month took over Deutsche Bank's five ETFs - the db X-trackers - that were for many years the only rand-denominated ETFs offering exposure to major equity market indices around the world. Approval sought Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka ...

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