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DBS to roll out ETFs for retail investors by end of third quarter

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DBS's new investment portfolios will give retail investors instant access to a collection of four to seven ETFs that represent between 200 and 13,000 holdings in a single transaction.

DBS will be extending its robo-investment platform digiPortfolio to retail investors with the launch of two portfolios comprising Singapore and UK-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the end of the third quarter.

DBS's new portfolios will allow retail customers to tap investment strategies from the bank's wealth management team that are traditionally limited to private banking customers, in a bid to "democratise access to financial expertise" and lower the barriers of investing, said DBS in a press statement on Monday. 

The Asia Portfolio, which requires a minimum investment sum of S$1,000, offers Singapore Exchange (SGX)-listed ETFs that provides the investor with exposure to Singapore, China and India. This is also the bank's first portfolio of SGX-listed ETFs. 

Investors seeking global diversification in their portfolio can opt for the Global Portfolio, which offers UK-listed ETFs for a minimum investment sum of US$1,000. 

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Slated to launch by the end of the third quarter, both choices give investors instant access to a collection of four to seven ETFs that represent between 200 and 13,000 holdings in a single transaction, and come with a flat annual management fee of 0.75 per cent without further sales charge, platform fees and lock-in period.

Based on their risk appetites, investors can choose from three risk levels in each portfolio. 

Leveraging the bank’s wealth management investment expertise, the new portfolios are constructed with carefully selected ETFs and are reviewed quarterly. Rebalancing is initiated when necessary to ensure the portfolios remain resilient to market volatility, provide optimal returns, and remain aligned to DBS Chief Investment Office’s views, said the lender.

The use of robo-technology on the digiPortfolio platform to automate processes such as back-testing, rebalancing and monitoring has enabled DBS to offer its wealth management services at lowered costs. 

"Technology has helped us to avail some services to our retail clients, that in the past, was almost impossible to do so at affordable rates," said Jeremy Soo, DBS head of consumer banking group for Singapore, at a media briefing on Monday.

“We've lowered the barriers to personal investing by creating a portfolio accessible to all customers, and that is watched over by our experienced investment specialists and adjusted to remain optimal in changing market conditions. This gives investors a simple way to get invested safely and securely with us," Mr Soo added.

DBS digiPortfolio was first launched in March this year with two portfolios offered only to DBS Treasures clients, who have assets under management of S$350,000 and above. In contrast, the new Asia portfolio is available to customers with no prior investment experience. 

The early access sign-up for DBS digiPortfolio is now open and will close at the end of the month. Customers who have indicated their interest to invest will receive a notification once they receive access to DBS digiPortfolio.