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Australia’s largest ETF loses buying conviction

By Jessica Penny
4 minute read

Online trading platform Selfwealth has revealed its most traded ASX shares during May.

There was a decline in buying conviction for Australia’s largest exchange-traded fund (ETF) – Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS) – last month, according to new data from Selfwealth.

Looking at the most actively traded ASX-listed ETFs on its platform for the month of May, Selfwealth revealed that, while VAS maintained its spot as the frontrunner, it also saw its buy-to-sell ratio drop 9 percentage points over the period.

The Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF (ASX: VDHG) – which also maintained its fourth-place position in terms of trading activity month-on-month – saw the second-highest loss in buy-to-sell ratio, down 5.2 percentage points when compared with figures from April.


“The above results might be due to the flat performance of the ASX last month, as opposed to US indices, which delivered significantly higher returns,” Selfwealth said on the fingers.

“Buying conviction for US-oriented ETFs was broadly consistent month-over-month, and in some instances, such as with the iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV) and the Vanguard US Total Market Shares Index ETF (ASX: VTS), even increased, further reinforcing the prospect that investors instead looked to the world’s largest share market for direction.”

Namely, IVV, which placed third for trading activity, saw its buy-to-sell ratio increase 0.8 percentage points to 89 per cent, while seventh-placer VTS had a 2.5 percentage point increase from April, to 82.5 per cent.

Preceding IVV in terms of flows was the Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF (ASX: VGS), dropping 1.1 percentage points in its buy-to-sell ratio to 86.8 per cent. Meanwhile, fifth and sixth place, Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (NDQ) and Betashares Australia 200 ETF (ASX: A200), lost 3.4 percentage points and 0.1 percentage points, respectively.

Betashares Diversified All Growth ETF (ASX: DHHF), coming in eighth place during May, also saw a slight decline in buying conviction – a loss of 1.5 percentage points – as did ninth place Betashares Geared Australian Equity (Hedge Fund) ETF (ASX: GEAR), down 1.8 percentage points.

The Betashares High Interest Cash ETF (ASX: AAA) joined the list this month, having not made the top 10 in terms of trading activity during April. AAA recorded a buy-to-sell ratio of 46.3 per cent.

Notably, following a slight dip last month, the Australian ETF industry gained 1.7 per cent month-on-month in May to reach $198.3 billion, a new all-time record high.

According to Betashares’ latest Australian ETF review, the industry’s total market cap increased by $3.3 billion, as industry flows continued their long-running positive streak with a robust $2 billion of net flows recorded in May, the highest level of monthly inflows so far in 2024.

Over the last 12 months, the Australian ETF industry has grown by 34.5 per cent or $50.9 billion, Betashares revealed.