Worst local ETFs for 2022 (Tech, REITs and EMs)

Simon BrownETF Blog, Latest

2022 was a year full of bear markets everywhere we looked, especially in high-flying tech stocks. This week we’re looking at the worst-performing ETFs listed in the JSE (next week we’ll look at the winners). Many of these worst-performing ETFs were on the winner’s list for 2021.

What you will also notice is that they are all tracking offshore indices and were helped by a Rand that was some 8% weaker over the year.

For reference, the Satrix40 (JSE code: STX40) is up 7% year-to-date (including dividends).

Overall not a bad set of returns for the losers considering the pain of some individual stocks down 75% or more, ahhh the beauty of ETFs.

NOTE: Pricing for close 05 December 2022 and are total return (including dividends)


ETF name & code


What’s the story?

Sygnia 4th Industrial Revolution
-24.4% In a year when tech was under the hammer, this bespoke high-flying tech ETF with many smaller and second their tech stocks took the hardest hit after many years of top performance.
Sygnia Emerging Markets (SYGEMF)
-21.4% Emerging markets mostly did better than developed markets in 2022. But this EM ETF has a lot of China and the largest holding is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. They suffered from both the chip shortage as well as lower demand for computers, laptops and the like reducing demand.
Newfunds Reitway Global Property (NEWPRP)
-21.2% The office continues to struggle with the Kastle back to work index stuck below 50% occupancy in the US. Other property sectors are recovering but this sector remains under pressure. Even higher inflation couldn’t save this sector.
Satrix Nasdaq100 (STXNDQ)
-21.2% Tech, even ‘traditional’ tech had its worst year in over a decade and while the sector has recovered it remains in the doldrums after a terrific 2021 saw valuations soar to crazy levels.
CoreShares Global Property (GLPROP)*
-18.1% More property struggling and while I like the sector (and own this ETF) I prefer local right now.
Sygnia Global Property (SYGP)
-17.1% The same index as above. So why are the returns different? We cover the mess that is ETF closing prices here for an explanation.
1nvest S&P500 Info Tech (ETF5IT)
-16.2% This is my preferred tech ETF as it takes only the tech stocks in the S&P500, so it is pure tech. But there was no escaping the tech bear.
Satrix China (STXCHN)
-15.7% Woe is China. After the ‘common prosperity’ crack downs 2022 was smoother sailing. But property development issues (read bankruptcies) and a failing zero-covid policy saw China’s stocks and growth under pressure.
1nvest Global REIT (ETFGRE)
-15.7% More property and more pain here.
Satrix Emerging Market ESG Enhanced (STXEME)
-12.9% Seems ESG and ‘enhanced’ helped a bit for EMs. Here Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is ±7% compared to 15% for the pure EM ETF. But still, no escaping the China exposure.

Simon Brown

* I hold ungeared positions.

ETF blog


At Just One Lap, we are big fans of passive investment using ETFs. In this weekly blog, we discuss ETFs on the local market and the factors you need to consider when choosing an ETF. If you have wondered how one ETF differs from another, this is where you can find out. We explain which index each ETF tracks, what type of portfolio could benefit from holding each ETF, and how the costs will affect your bottom line.