For the first time in Malaysia, three pairs of Leveraged and Inverse (L&I) ETFs will be listed on Bursa Malaysia with the first one expected by the end of November 2019, which aims to enable investors to gain profit in bull and bear markets.
In total, it is expected that six new ETFs will be making their way to Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market in coming weeks.
“We plan to launch the first L&I ETF by end-November. We will have one that is based on the FBM KLCI. We are also looking to have other ETFs that are based on foreign market indices,” said the Vice President of Product Development Securities Market of Bursa Malaysia, Mark Chan during a media briefing.
Both leveraged and inverse ETF are structured using a combination of debt and financial derivatives to replicate the daily amplified return, or daily inverse return of investors’ index.
It’s important to keep in mind that most of the L&I ETFs rebalance investors’ investment strategies on a daily basis, thus L&I ETFs would be more appropriate for short-term strategies rather than buy-and-hold investments.
In addition, Leveraged ETF aims to amplify the return of an index on a daily basis, and investors are able to enjoy leverage without being provided any margin.
Meanwhile, Inverse ETF is designed to provide return that is the opposite performance of an index on a daily basis. It can be used as a hedging tool and serves as an instrument to make money in falling markets.
This means that when the market is trending upwards, investors may consider a Leveraged ETF. Vice versa, if investors expect a temporary bear market, they may consider the Inverse ETF.
Meanwhile, Mark said all the L&I ETFs would have market makers so as to provide liquidity.
Investors can buy L&I ETFs just like the plain vanilla ETFs or stocks, but only qualified investors will be able to trade in the L&I ETFs.
Head of Product & Market Development Securities Market of Bursa Malaysia, Kenneth Chan said investors need to acknowledge the risk disclosure form and self declare that they fulfill one of the four criteria Bursa has set first.
The four criteria include:
- Investors who have utilised a performance simulator which simulates trading in L&I ETFs and have undergone the video tutorials on L&I ETFs on Bursa Marketplace;
- Investors who have margin accounts with their brokers;
- Investors who have made at least five transactions in exchange-traded derivatives or structured warrants in the preceding 12 months;
- Investors who fall under the category of Sophisticated Investors.
Investors need to submit a declaration to the broker on whether he or she meets any of the above criteria prior to trading in L&I ETFs.
In terms of risk, L&I ETFs may underperform in a volatile, sideway market due to the compounding effect.
Hence investors must constantly monitor the increased exposure and risk when they hold either Leveraged or Inverse ETF for more than a day, or seek advice from a licensed investment professional to understand the risks associated with L&I ETFs.