American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) offer the issuing company access to the US capital market and at the same time provide investors in the US with a convenient way to directly invest in international companies.

ADRs are dollar-denominated securities that trade, clear and settle like any other US security. They are a negotiable instrument that represents ownership of shares (ADRs) in a non-US company. ADRs are traded over-the-counter or on one of the major US exchanges.

ADRs can be sponsored or unsponsored.

  • Sponsored ADRs are created at the request of a foreign company wanting its shares traded in the United States.
  • Unsponsored ADRs are created by a US securities company if a foreign company does not seek to have its shares traded in the United States but US investors are interested.

Types of American Depositary Receipts

There are four types of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs.

 Level ILevel IILevel IIIRule 144A
Raising Capital in US MarketsNoNoYesYes
Listing FeeLowHighHighLow
SEC Registration RequirementYesYesYesNo

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