BetaShares Australian ETF Review - Half Year 2017 | BetaShares

BetaShares Australian ETF Review – Half Year 2017

BY Ilan Israelstam | 12 July 2017
BetaShares ETF Review June 2017

ETF Industry “in the black” for the financial year

It has been a very strong half for the Australian ETF industry for the first six months of 2017. The industry’s funds under management grew rapidly, increasing 14% for the half year to end the financial year at a new record high of $29.4B. The industry grew funds under management by $3.6B for the half, setting the scene for a record year of asset growth if such growth is maintained in the second half. Trading activity levels also reached record highs, with trading value increasing 10% compared to the previous half.

Market Size & Growth

ETF Market Size June 2017

Market Cap

  • ASX Exchange Traded Funds Market Cap: $29.4B– new record high
  • Market cap growth for year: 14%, +$3.6B

New Money

  • New unit growth for year (units outstanding by number): 17%
  • Net new money (units outstanding by $ value): +$2.8B


  • 212 Exchange Traded Products trading on the ASX
  • New products: 14 new products launched in the year
    Comment: product development activity has been relatively slow this year when compared to the 40 products launched over the course of 2016 (and 23 new products in the second half of 2016). We believe the pace of products is likely to slow somewhat as the industry matures, but we do expect the number of  products launched to remain robust into the foreseeable future. 

Trading Value

  • Trading value increased 10% compared to previous half year


  • Asian equities and Geared US equities were the best performing products for the half.

Top 5 category inflows (by $) – YTD

Category                                                          Inflow Value
Australian Equities $ 972,161,079
International Equities $ 915,345,142
Fixed Income $ 414,704,486
Cash $ 211,451,951
Commodities $ 106,887,087

Comment: There has been a return to interest in Australian equities by ETF investors, although products providing exposure to international equities remain popular. Fixed income ETFs continue to be allocated into, and this is an area we expect to continue to grow as more investors seek to created balanced portfolios usings ETFs alone.

There were no outflows at a broad category level. 

Top sub-category inflows (by $) – YTD

Category                                                          Inflow Value
Australian Equities – Broad $ 667,459,693
International Equities – Developed World $ 348,764,243
Australian Bonds $ 302,040,803
Australian Equities – High Yield $ 276,222,574
International Equities – US $  221,552,512

Top sub-category outflows (by $) – YTD

Category                                                          Inflow Value
Australian Equities – Large Cap ($ 50,022,016)
International Equities – Asia ($ 37,691,402)
Australian Equities – Financials Sector ($ 5,252,537)
International Equities – Geared ($ 1,261,429)
Broad Commodities ($  1,061,177)

Comment: Breaking down the broad categories into sub-categories provides a more nuanced view on where the money flows went so far this year. For example, although the broad categories produced no outflows, at a sub-category level we can see that investors sold off large cap Australian equities and Asian equities. In the case of the Asian equities exposure, we expect this could be profit taking after a very strong performance so far this year. 

Given the growth of the industry to date, we maintain the forecast we made at the end of 2016 and expect total industry FuM at the end of 2017 to be in the range of $32-$35B. Given current growth trajectory, we expect the industry will end up at the upper end of this range. 


  1. Brian Knight (Knoght Superannuation Pty Ltd)  |  July 12, 2017

    This is an interesting article but it does not really help investors. I have holdings in YMAX and HVST and would consider other funds if some decent analyses were available.

    1. Ilan Israelstam  |  July 15, 2017

      Hi Brian,
      The aim of this article is just to review the size, growth and characteristics of the broader ETF market in Australia. It is not meant on a comment on any fund in particular. There are a number of posts available on our Insights page about HVST and other funds. In addition, you are always free to contact our Client Services personnel on 1300 487 577

  2. Bruce Edwardes  |  July 12, 2017

    Forward Please to HVST Personnel.

    Whilst the income return from the above fund is excellent, the capital value dating from its establishment has continued to decline.
    If it continues the long term result would see a nil value remaining in the investment.
    Are the dividends being paid from capital?
    Do you foresee a turning point where the unit value may in fact increase?

    Thank You

    Bruce Edwardes

    1. Ilan Israelstam  |  July 15, 2017

      Hi Bruce,
      There has been a recent post on HVST which may help to answer your question here. See

      Please note that distributions in HVST are from dividend income only and not capital.

      If you have any further questions or queries at all please call our Client Services line on 1300 487 577

  3. Lynette Langford  |  July 13, 2017

    Dividend Harvester has not served me very well. I invested over $40K for my super fund and now it is worth just over $29k and I have received $8810 in dividends. I could not recommended it to anyone.

    1. Isaak Walkom  |  May 28, 2018

      Hi Lynette,
      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
      HVST has a particular set of objectives which may not make it appropriate for all styles of investor. We have recently written a paper that re-introduces the key aspects of the HVST fund that may be useful for you –
      As a fund yielding around 10% per year, a certain level of capital decline can be expected unless the stock prices increase by more than the distribution. This will be true even if the total return of the fund is positive.
      Please give BetaShares Client Services a call on 1300 487 577 if you have any further questions, we would be more than happy to provide assistance.
      Kind Regards

  4. David Lamond  |  July 27, 2017

    Hi there,

    I have the same question as Bruce, but in regard to YMAX, I bought in at the start and initial income stream was very positive. It is now in long term decline, with significant drop in capital value as well.

    1. Ilan Israelstam  |  August 2, 2017

      Hi David,
      YMAX is actually a very different strategy to HVST. It is not true to say that it is in a ‘long term decline’. The capital value of YMAX will largely depend upon the performance of the underlying stocks and path of the market. In general, buy-write strategies such as YMAX will tend to underperform in rising markets, and outperform in flat or falling markets. Given the Australian sharemarket has been a fast rising market YMAX has underperformed. Note also that when capital values decline of any strategy the amount of dividends earned as a $ value will decline as the fund has less assets with which to earn dividends. There is no reasons to suspect that this outperformance will be persistent but it is important to understand the nature of the fund

Leave a Reply