10 Most Popular Stocks, Funds, and ETFs of 2023

Here are the most-viewed securities on hk.Morningstar this year.

Kate Lin 20 December, 2023 | 9:50
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What’s that one word that kept coming up in 2023 that didn’t in 2022? It’s probably ‘Japan.’ This year, among the top 10 most-searched weather report destinations for the year, Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto were the most popular. Japanese yen conversion rate was also among the top queries under the Finance category, among other currencies like Chinese yuan and pound sterling. While travel returns to be relevant again, searches for currency exchange and travel insurance also rose.

This makes a stark contrast to the same time just a year ago, when we were looking up Google for a reservation for vaccination and mandatory COVID testing.

But what about popular terms in investing?

Fixed deposit, silver and green bonds, and ChatGPT – Aren’t they indicative of the year of chasing higher rates and the hype for artificial intelligence?

Meanwhile, we decided to show you the most frequently viewed securities – stocks, funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – on the hk.Morningstar.com site for the year. Here’s what we found.

10 Most Popular Stocks in Hong Kong

The Magnificent Seven tech stocks — Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Nvidia (NVDA), Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT), and Tesla (TSLA) — have dominated 2023's headlines, as well as the S&P 500 Index. Among the top searches, we Tesla, Amazon, and Microsoft made the list.

There was a non-Magnificent 7 foreign stock search: Tilray Brands (TLRY), a consumer cannabis product company in Canada. Unlike the rally staged among the mega-cap tech stocks, Tilray Brands stock lost 23% so far this year.

Investors’ love for home equities remains prevalent in this list. Led by China Construction Bank, a solid dividend yielder, the list is no shortage of the best-known Chinese companies, from wide-moat Alibaba Group (09988) and Tencent Holdings (00700) to emerging EV maker XPeng Inc (09868). After skyrocketing 54.64%, shares of XPeng are considered fairly valued now.

10 Most Popular ETFs in Hong Kong

Three Gold-rated ETFs were the top searched products, while the territory’s oldest ETF, Tracker Fund of Hong Kong ETF (2800) ranked sixth by search.

Instead of a market-cap approach to invest in Hong Kong, investors were looking at home equities with a dividend angle.

Ping An of China CSI HK Dividend ETF (3070), a concentrated portfolio with 30-plus stocks, was the most searched ETF. Owning China Mobile, CNOOC, and other leading Chinese banks, the Gold-rated ETF gained 9.85% for the year. The outperformance came with a higher fee of 0.77%, compared to the Tracker Fund’s 0.1%. Another dividend-focused Gold-rated ETF Global X Hang Seng High Div Yield ETF (3110) also garnered interest but lost 6.22% in 2023.

Other than Hong Kong stocks and income, more defensive readers on our site also searched SPDR Gold Shares (2840), which manages US$ 57.47 billion, and CSOP Hong Kong Dollar Money Market ETF (3053).

10 Most Popular Funds in Hong Kong

Allianz Income and Growth is the most popular mutual fund for two years in a row. The Neutral-rated fund has US$ 45.86 billion under management and returned 15.9%. Globally, all share classes of the allocation fund absorbed US$ 4.24 billion between January and October 2023.

Because of a whooping distribution yield of 9% per year, the fund was made as a key case study of Morningstar’s multi-asset income fund research.

Bryan Cheung, associate director of manager research at Morningstar, thinks the yield level is hard for the fund to sustain because it is highly dependent on unpredictable short-term capital gains. “This heightens the risk of capital erosion in volatile markets, which can reduce the fund’s capital base and limits its capacity to provide a stable income… Also, the fund has a high downside risk because it concentrates on three highly correlated assets which are U.S. growth-tilted equities, convertible bonds, and high-yield credits,” he adds.

The remaining list is a motley crew, with investor interest spanning from China and Korea equities, to energy stocks and gold.  This included Gold-rated FSSA China Growth.

Down almost 20% for the year, the FSSA manager Martin Lau spoke with Morningstar about his investment strategy for 2024. One of them was, amid the challenging days for Chinese equities, he budgeted more time and resources to focus on existing portfolio companies to validate the investment thesis, rather than discovering new ideas.

Three Bronze-rated funds – JPMorgan Korea, Ninety One GSF Glb Gold, and JPMorgan China Pioneer A-Share – also made the cut.

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About Author

Kate Lin

Kate Lin  is an Editor for Morningstar Asia, and is based in Hong Kong

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