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Saxo and Blackrock launch ETF portfolios in Singapore

The firms believe that there is demand for ETF-based portfolios in the Lion City.

Saxo Markets has launched in Singapore three portfolios that invest in Blackrock’s iShares ETFs, according to a statement from Saxo.

The portfolios follows a “regular savings plan” (RSP) format, in which investors are required to deposit an initial S$2,000 ($1,415). After that, users will have to contribute a minimum of S$100 on a monthly basis.

Each of the three portfolios, which are defensive, moderate and aggressive, caters to different risk appetites, ranging from low to high, according to the statement. The portfolios are curated by Blackrock and are automatically rebalanced to adapt to changing market conditions, according to the statement.

Each portfolio will have 12 ETFs, Adam Reynolds, Apac CEO at Saxo Markets told FSA. According to the firm’s website, the defensive portfolio will focus on fixed income investments, with some exposure to stocks and alternatives. The moderate portfolio will have a blend of stocks, bonds and alternatives, while the aggressive portfolio will have a major focus on equities.

This is not the first time that both firms have partnered to launch ETF portfolios. In 2016, Saxo Bank, the parent of Saxo Markets, launched Saxo Select, which is a portfolio management service that enables clients to invest in three portfolios curated by Blackrock, according to a statement at the time.

Saxo Select is available to investors in Denmark, the UK, Netherlands, Singapore and China, according to Reynolds. He explained that the RSP, which is only available in Singapore for now, lets clients invest into the Blackrock ETF portfolios that are a part of Saxo Select.

“[The RSP] is an enhancement to the Saxo Select product. Clients can access the portfolios at a much lower starting point,” Reynolds said.

“So the RSP opens up Saxo’s product to a much broader client audience,” he said, adding that the minimum investment in Saxo Select is $10,000 for the US dollar-denominated portfolio.

Meanwhile, Blackrock has also made similar arrangements with other firms, according to a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman of the firm. For example, the firm this year partnered with Openinvest, an online market place in Australia, to launch multi-asset portfolios made up of iShares ETFs.

Demand in Singapore?

Saxo and Blackrock believe that there is demand for ETF-based portfolios in Singapore.

“With direct digital advice now available to the mass investment community, we are pleased to see demand from Singapore for ETF-based portfolios that are low cost, transparent and flexible,” Anthony Arthur, head of wealth for Asia at Blackrock iShares, said in the statement.

Other digital wealth managers, including robo-advisers, have also launched stand-alone ETF portfolios in Singapore. For example, robo-advisory firm Stashaway launched last year an income portfolio that invests in ETFs. Another robo firm, Kristal AI, also enables users to invest in curated thematic ETF portfolios.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.