The eight top performing ASX Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in 2021 are either focused on banks or offer exposure to global assets.

Eight ASX ETFs have gained over 10 per cent in the first two months of 2021. Two of these are bank focused in VanEck Australian Bank ETF (ASX:MVB) and the BetaShares Global Banks ETF (ASX:BNKS).

The remaining six have a broader global focus with the top being iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (ASX:IJR) up 17 per cent in 2021.


Here’s how ASX ETFs have performed in 2021…

Code Name 30D Vol YTD Rtn
IJR iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF 9.83k +16.98%
ASIA AU BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers 542.09k +13.69%
MVB AU VanEck Vectors Australian Bank 23.59k +12.70%
FUEL AU Betashares Global Energy Companies 434.53k +11.70%
VVLU AU Vanguard Global Value Equity 14.48k +11.59%
FOOD AU BetaShares Global Agriculture 20.45k +11.25%
BNKS AU BetaShares Global Banks ETF - 53.14k +11.21%
IJH AU iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF/A 1.38k +10.09%
QFN AU BetaShares S&P/ASX Financial S 41.31k +9.54%
IAA AU iShares Asia 50 ETF/AU 20.17k +8.99%
OZF AU SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Financials Ex 42.92k +8.92%
GGUS AU BetaShares Geared US Equity Fu 72.31k +8.88%
FANG AU ETFS FANG+ ETF 131.35k +8.66%
VISM AU Vanguard MSCI International Sm 5.44k +8.26%
ROBO AU ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and 10.35k +7.99%
MOAT AU VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wid 6.10k +7.06%
VGMF AU Vanguard Global Multi-Factor A 1.06k +7.01%
PAXX AU Platinum Asia Fund ETF 111.79k +6.90%
QUS AU BetaShares S&P 500 Equal Weigh 28.39k +6.81%
PIXX AU Platinum International Fund ET 171.30k +6.69%
ZYUS AU ETFS S&P 500 High Yield Low Vo 33.89k +6.69%
EMMG AU Betashares Legg Mason Emerging 32.52k +6.69%
VHY AU Vanguard Australian Shares Hig 61.94k +6.46%
IZZ AU iShares China Large-Cap ETF/Au 6.81k +6.29%
VAE AU Vanguard FTSE Asia ex-Japan Sh 18.76k +6.18%
QOZ AU BetaShares FTSE RAFI Australia 101.99k +5.78%
EMKT AU Vaneck Vectors Msci Multifacto 12.99k +5.34%
ACDC AU ETFS Battery Tech and Lithium 30.79k +5.33%
ILC AU iShares S&P/ASX 20 ETF 36.71k +5.31%
YMAX AU BetaShares Australian Top 20 E 80.57k +5.18%
WEMG AU SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Fund 4.79k +5.14%
VGE AU Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets 19.08k +4.96%
OZR AU SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Resources Fun 29.39k +4.79%
VLC AU Vanguard MSCI Australian Large 9.39k +4.75%
MSTR AU Morningstar International Shar 18.72k +4.73%
IHWL AU iShares Core MSCI World All Ca 16.74k +4.67%
ESPO AU VanEck Vectors Video Gaming an 87.81k +4.61%
FEMX AU Fidelity Global Emerging Marke 140.41k +4.56%
LPGD AU Loftus Peak Global Disruption 153.23k +4.27%
SFY AU SPDR S&P/ASX 50 Fund 33.36k +4.26%
IHVV AU iShares S&P 500 AUD Hedged ETF 24.98k +4.18%
UMAX AU BetaShares S&P 500 Yield Maxim 11.37k +4.11%
CETF AU Vaneck Vectors FTSE China A50 2.49k +4.10%
RDV AU Russell Invest High Div Aust S 12.45k +4.03%
IEM AU iShares MSCI Emerging Markets 68.64k +3.96%
REIT AU Vaneck Vectors FTSE Internatio 25.84k +3.87%
WXHG AU SPDR S&P World ex Australia He 5.43k +3.83%
TECH AU ETFS Morningstar Global Techno 11.51k +3.77%
HETH AU Betashares Global Sustainabili 34.48k +3.75%
VGAD AU Vanguard MSCI Index Internatio 85.07k +3.75%
IWLD AU iShares Core MSCI World All Ca 9.14k +3.68%
WDIV AU SPDR S&P Global Dividend Fund 34.19k +3.59%
IHOO AU iShares Global 100 AUD Hedged 1.75k +3.56%
HEUR AU BetaShares Europe ETF - Curren 13.53k +3.53%
NDIA AU ETFS-NAM India Nifty 50 ETF 2.09k +3.53%
WDMF AU iShares Edge MSCI World Multif 5.57k +3.50%
A200 AU BetaShares Australia 200 ETF 69.49k +3.43%
IVV AU iShares Core S&P 500 ETF/Austr 19.28k +3.43%
SWTZ AU Switzer Dividend Growth Fund 52.65k +3.38%
VAS AU Vanguard Australian Shares Ind 278.86k +3.30%
IOZ AU iShares CORE S&P/ASX 200 ETF 0 +3.27%
CURE AU ETFS S&P Biotech ETF 6.00k +3.13%
INIF AU Intelligent Investor Aus Equit 24.07k +3.13%
HNDQ AU Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF - Cu 21.33k +3.01%
EIGA AU eInvest Income Generator Fund 18.28k +2.97%
DJRE AU SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Est 47.37k +2.94%
HJPN AU BetaShares Japan ETF - Currenc 25.35k +2.79%
STW AU SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund 247.04k +2.77%
E200 AU SPDR S&P/ASX 200 ESG Fund 2.70k +2.75%
WXOZ AU SPDR S&P World ex Australia Fu 3.09k +2.67%
VGS AU Vanguard MSCI Index Internatio 85.65k +2.49%
IKO AU iShares MSCI South Korea ETF/A 1.65k +2.48%
AGX1 AU Antipodes Global Shares EQMF E 2.78k +2.43%
IOO AU iShares Global 100 ETF/AU 38.32k +2.42%
ETHI AU BetaShares Global Sustainabili 443.89k +2.40%
F100 AU Betashares FTSE 100 ETF 90.17k +2.25%
EINC AU BetaShares Legg Mason Equity I 5.68k +2.19%
NDQ AU BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF 393.73k +2.16%
VESG AU Vanguard Ethically Conscious I 17.79k +2.06%
AUST AU BetaShares Managed Risk Austra 37.12k +2.00%
AASF AU Airlie Australian Share Fund - 22.13k +1.77%
INCM AU BetaShares Global Income Leade 3.73k +1.66%
VETH AU Vanguard Ethically Conscious A 5.80k +1.56%
SSO AU SPDR S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries 3.94k +1.50%
MOGL AU Montgomery Global Equities Fun 51.15k +1.49%
VMIN AU Vanguard Global Minimum Volati 1.97k +1.46%
GOAT AU VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wor 3.73k +1.44%
WRLD AU BetaShares Managed Risk Global 70.82k +1.36%
QMIX AU SPDR MSCI World Quality Mix Fu 10.18k +1.31%
CNEW AU Vaneck Vectors China New Econo 95.80k +1.28%
QHAL AU Vaneck Vectors MSCI World ex A 23.93k +1.26%
RBTZ AU BetaShares Global Robotics And 97.27k +1.25%
HQLT AU Betashares Global Quality Lead 6.37k +1.02%
MHG AU Magellan Global Equities Fund 298.24k +0.98%
SELF AU SelfWealth SMSF Leaders ETF 446.87 +0.98%
ISO AU iShares S&P/ASX Small Ordinari 60.00k +0.89%
VDHG AU Vanguard Diversified High Grow 63.32k +0.84%
MVW AU VanEck Vectors Aus Equal Weigh 93.82k +0.81%
RARI AU Russell Invest Aust Responsibl 12.58k +0.73%
WCMQ AU WCM Quality Global Growth Fund 87.40k +0.67%
IJP AU iShares MSCI Japan ETF/AU 12.57k +0.63%
VSO AU Vanguard MSCI Australian Small 19.22k +0.56%
ESGI AU VanEck Vectors MSCI Internatio 11.55k +0.51%
VDBA AU Vanguard Diversified Balanced 22.90k +0.44%
VEQ AU Vanguard FTSE Europe Shares ET 59.35k +0.43%
IIGF AU Intelligent Investor Aus Equit 38.99k +0.36%
VDGR AU Vanguard Diversified Growth In 18.97k +0.35%
IVE AU iShares MSCI EAFE ETF/AU 6.37k +0.31%
AUMF AU iShares Edge MSCI Australia Mu 2.26k +0.24%
SYI AU SPDR MSCI Australia Select Hig 26.35k +0.21%
IEU AU iShares Europe ETF/AU 53.97k +0.11%
QUAL AU Vaneck Vectors MSCI World ex A 109.51k +0.06%
HVST AU BetaShares Australian Dividend 34.67k -0.02%
DRUG AU BetaShares Global Healthcare E 48.74k -0.05%
MCSE AU Magellan Financial Group Core 5.40k -0.29%
MGOC AU Magellan Global Fund/Open Clas 919.61k -0.41%
VDCO AU Vanguard Diversified Conservat 9.51k -0.46%
EX20 AU BetaShares Australian Ex-20 Po 33.73k -0.54%
MCSG AU Magellan Financial Group Core 6.03k -0.58%
INES AU Intelligent Investor Ethical S 62.51k -0.62%
QLTY AU BetaShares Global Quality Lead 26.06k -0.80%
IIND AU Betashares India Quality ETF 27.31k -0.88%
SMLL AU BetaShares Australian Small Co 26.82k -0.91%
MVR AU VanEck Vectors Australian Reso 18.57k -0.92%
IHD AU iShares S&P/ASX Dividend Oppor 90.47k -0.95%
MVOL AU iShares Edge MSCI Australia Mi 66.14k -0.97%
GRNV AU VanEck Vectors MSCI Australian 24.48k -1.44%
VBLD AU Vanguard Global Infrastructure 12.32k -1.49%
MSUF AU Magellan Sustainable Fund - Ma 1.87k -1.60%
IFRA AU VanEck Vectors FTSE Global Inf 70.20k -1.71%
IXJ AU iShares Global Healthcare ETF/ 18.40k -1.79%
MVS AU VanEck Vectors Small Companies 7.30k -1.99%
IMPQ AU eInvest Future Impact Small Ca 26.43k -2.03%
FAIR AU BetaShares Australian Sustaina 184.68k -2.18%
MVE AU Vaneck Vectors S&P/ASX Midcap 10.83k -2.30%
WVOL AU iShares Edge MSCI World Minimu 91.72k -2.35%
MCSI AU Magellan Financial Group Core 5.94k -2.37%
ZYAU AU ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Pl 33.85k -2.43%
RINC AU BetaShares Legg Mason Real Inc 24.84k -2.49%
MICH AU Magellan Infrastructure Fund - 458.77k -2.95%
HLTH AU VanEck Vectors Global Healthca 24.01k -3.11%
HACK AU BetaShares Global Cybersecurit 337.57k -3.40%
BEAR AU BetaShares Australian Equities 59.05k -3.50%
VAP AU Vanguard Australian Property S 48.47k -4.46%
MVA AU VanEck Vectors Australian Prop 92.55k -4.53%
SLF AU SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Listed Proper 83.72k -4.56%
ATEC AU BetaShares S&P/ASX Australian 59.38k -4.82%
IXI AU iShares Global Consumer Staple 4.05k -7.75%
BBOZ AU BetaShares Australian Equities 2.46M -8.13%
BBUS AU BetaShares US Equities Strong 4.70M -10.16%
MNRS AU Betashares Global Gold Miners 59.23k -13.47%
GDX AU VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF 28.17k -17.39%


At this time last year, as COVID-19 hit the global markets investors feared banks would suffer from a fall in people’s incomes and a rise in bad debts.

But 12 months on, the worst fears haven’t come to pass as Jamie Hannah, Van Eck’s Deputy Head of Investments & Capital Markets told Stockhead.

“The banking sector’s been particularly strong this year. Australia’s had a growing economy – which helps them,” he said.

“And for a lot of them provision for bad debts is going down, so even though people are coming off JobKeeper it’s not resulting in increasing bad debt. I think yields increasing should help their margins as well.”

However the ASX was far from the only exchange with solidly performing bank ETFs in 2021.

“I look at global banking ETFs, one in the US and Europe they’ve had excellent years as well – other offshore banking ETFs, some of them returned 20 or more per cent year to date,” Hannah said.

“So from what I’m seeing the bank sector is gaining from the global economy at the moment and MVB benefits from that.”

As for global-focused ASX ETFs, Hannah put it down to investor optimism about the global economy and its growth prospects in 2021.


ASX ETFs still to come in 2021…

In the weeks to come Van Eck will be launching three new ETFs, all of which give investors exposure to global assets. Namely:

  • VanEck Vectors MSCI International Small Companies Quality ETF (ASX: QSML)
  • VanEck Vectors MSCI International Value ETF (VLUE) 
  • VanEck Vectors Global Clean Energy ETF (ASX: CLNE)

This will take Van Eck’s total of ETFs to 28, up from 19 just a year ago.

VanEck’s head of Asia Pacific Arian Neiron said the new ETFs would leverage stong investment themes.

“Value, as an investment style, for example, has been performing well in recent months and could continue to do so when global economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and if we see reflation,” Neiron said.

“VLUE will allow investors to add a value tilt to their portfolio, with 250 companies selected by MSCI based on its value factor for passive fees.

“Separately, QSML will give investors exposure to a diversified portfolio of international developed market small-cap quality growth companies with durable business models and sustainable competitive advantages.

“Many investors seek capital growth opportunities by investing in small companies such as those found in the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries. The international opportunity is 20 times bigger with approximately 4,000 listed international small companies making up the benchmark, MSCI World ex Australia Small Cap Index.”

As for the Clean Energy ETF, Neiron said it would allow investors to leverage the growing demand for renewable energy. It will track the S&P Global Clean Energy Index, which grew 116 per cent in the 12 months to January 2021.

BetaShares is currently marketing two ASX ETFs for later in 2021 – the Betashares Climate Change Innovation ETF (ASX:ERTH) and the Betashares Cloud Computing ETF (ASX:CLDD).

The latter of these will be the ASX’s first dedicated cloud computing ETF, tracking the Indxx Global Cloud Computing Index.


An ETF for Redditors?

Turning briefly to global ETFs, there’s one that shows the GameStop saga may not be a one off.

In January shares in US video games retailer GameStop (NYSE:GME) went viral after GameStop fans started an online campaign to encourage their followers to buy GameStop stock, and boost its share price.

This forcing short sellers (of which there were plenty) to cover their positions causing a frenzy of buying, and as the share price of GameStop went higher, the more it cost short sellers as they had to buy even more to offset their growing losses on trades.

The incident was portrayed as slap in the face to traditional Wall St players in that they no longer control things. Unfortunately for them, a new ETF in the US shows incidents like this may occur again.

VanEck is launching an ETF that will track the 75 most-favourably mentioned companies on the internet – VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF (NYSE:BUZZ).

But if you look at BUZZ’s biggest holdings, the ETF does not appear to be too unconventional.

Its top 10 holdings are: Twitter, DraftKings, Ford Motor Company, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Advanced Micro Devices, American Airlines, Netflix and Tesla.

BUZZ’s founder Dave Portnoy hasn’t been holding back.

Portnoy is the founder of pop culture blog Barstool Sports and he regularly tweets about his stock trades – particularly during the GameStop saga.