New K-pop ETF gives investors a chance to bet on Korea’s entertainment boom

A new exchange-traded fund is trying to turn the booming industry of Korean pop music into a simple trading strategy for U.S.-based investors. The KPOP and Korean Entertainment ETF, which begins trading on Thursday under the ticker “KPOP,” is designed to hold stocks that trade in South Korea and could benefit from the continued international spread of the country’s entertainment industry. K-pop music has already reached the White House in the form of boy band BTS’ visit in May. The fund will be based on a bespoke “KPOP Index” created by CT Investments, which is also launching the fund. The index is made up of South Korean companies in entertainment or interactive media and services, and CT Investments will use artificial intelligence to identify companies that are most associated with Korean music and other forms of popular entertainment, according to the fund’s prospectus. The fund’s top holdings include entertainment giants with K-pop record labels, such as Hybe and JYP Entertainment. Source: CT Investments There are some caveats investors should be aware of, however. For one, the KPOP Index designed for this fund does not have a public track record. And though the index is market-cap weighted, its minimum market capitalizations translates to about $75 million in the U.S., meaning investors could be exposed to very small companies in the fund. Additionally, many entertainment stocks have suffered globally during this year’s equity market downturn, and the fund could struggle to gain traction. That could mean that investors see low liquidity in the fund, which could impact the performance of trades. Because the companies in the fund operate overseas, currency risk is another consideration for investors.

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