SINGAPORE (Jan 8): The Singapore Index Fund (SIF), formerly known as the Singapore Regional Index Fund, was the first open-ended fund to be listed on the SGX. The fund is currently managed by Singapore Consortium Investment Management, which also manages the SGX-listed mutual fund Global Investments Limited.

SIF’s objective is to replicate the returns of Singapore’s benchmark FTSE Straits Times Index (STI). Two SGX-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) — SPDR Straits Times Index (SPDR STI) and Nikko AM Singapore STI (Nikko AM Singapore) — also have similar objectives.

ETFs have been in the spotlight lately, with their low costs attracting investors who are unhappy with sub-par returns by active fund managers. Although SIF is passively managed, it too potentially faces threats from ETFs. Case in point: Compare the total returns of these three funds with the STI benchmark over a five-year period (see Chart 1).

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