The interest in exchange traded fund (ETF) investing as well as REIT investing is growing in Malaysia. Four new REITs were listed on Bursa Malaysia earlier this year, bringing the total number of REITs to 13. Market capitalization of REITs rose 73.5% in a year, ending June 2007, which reflects a growing interest in REITs as a way to access the property market, The Malaysia Star reports.

Only two ETFs are available in Malaysia, as of the end of July. More ETFs should appear following the call to government-linked investment companies to participate in ETFs by selling a portion of their portfolios in exchange for units in ETFs. The economic conditions for ETFs seem fair as domestic demand should remain high and inflation low, according to predictions for 2008 economic growth.

Malaysians definitely seem interested in ETFs and are eager to learn more, as we had someone contact us about possibly speaking at an ETF conference there. More ETFs and a strong economy in Malaysia also could mean positive numbers for the iShares MSCI Malaysia (EWM) ETF that U.S. investors follow. Currently, EWM is up 23.1% year-to-date.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.