American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) | Robinhood

American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are securities listed on US exchanges and the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Market that represent ownership of shares in foreign companies. For companies outside of the US, listing shares directly on American exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq is a complicated and expensive process. However, American investors may want to purchase shares of these companies to diversify their portfolios and gain exposure to new markets. ADRs make it easy for investors to trade in foreign companies on US trading venues.

To offer ADRs to investors, American banks first purchase shares of foreign companies on foreign exchanges. Then, the banks issue the ADRs, which are certificates denominated in American dollars that represent the foreign shares and can be traded on an American stock exchange or the OTC Market.

An ADR may represent a single foreign share, a fraction of a share, or a bundle of shares depending on the price the bank wants to list for the ADR. Many banks will divide or group foreign shares so the ADR price aligns more closely with typical prices on American stock exchanges. Holding an ADR is similar to owning a share in the foreign company, so ADRs still may pay dividends and are subject to capital gains taxation in American dollars.

Robinhood offers certain ADRs for trading on our platform, but not all. We don’t offer ADRs that are subject to local financial transaction taxes, including ADRs on Spanish, French, and Italian listed companies.

What fees are associated with ADRs?

Some banks require investors who hold ADRs to pay periodic services fees (sometimes called custody fees), which typically run between $0.01 to $0.03 per share. If you purchase a share from a company that’s based outside the US with Robinhood, you can find information about any ADR fees that may apply on the website of the bank issuing the ADR.

What are the potential benefits and risks of ADRs?

Just like all other securities, there are certain benefits and risks associated with ADRs.

Potential benefits

  • Increased diversification: ADRs can help American investors build a more geographically diverse portfolio.
  • Lower cost: Investing directly in foreign markets can be expensive, so ADRs generally help to lower that barrier to entry.

Potential risks

  • Exchange rate fluctuations: If the currency in the issuing company’s country drops relative to the U.S. dollar, that can bring down the value of your investment.
  • Political upheaval: Regime changes in the issuing company’s country can negatively impact the exchange rate or destabilise the company in some other way, and non-local investors often do not have as much context on how these factors can affect their investment.
  • Inflation risk: If the issuing company’s country is experiencing rising inflation, that can lower the value of their currency.
  • Access to different information: Not all non-US companies provide shareholders with the same type of information that American companies do, and language barriers can make it difficult to access the information that is available.
  • Some ADRs are listed on the OTC Market that may carry additional risk compared to public exchanges. Please refer to the relevant stock detail pages for more information on listings.

Why is my ADR no longer trading?

Occasionally, the American bank responsible for custody of the shares will terminate the ADR while the underlying foreign stock is still active. This is generally handled in one of the following ways:

  • Shareholders automatically receive cash for their ADR shares.
  • Shareholders have a 6-month window where they can voluntarily convert their ADR shares into the underlying foreign shares. After that 6-month window, the foreign shares are automatically sold and holders receive cash.
  • The ADR shares are automatically converted into the underlying foreign shares. Because Robinhood cannot support the underlying foreign shares, customers will need to work with the company’s transfer agent to receive physical stock certificates.

Still have questions?

The decision to terminate an ADR isn’t made by Robinhood. If you have questions about why an ADR was terminated, we suggest contacting the holding bank’s investor relations team to learn more.

Disclosures

Diversification does not ensure a profit and cannot protect against losses in a declining market. All investments involve risk and loss of principal is possible.

Robinhood U.K. Ltd (Robinhood UK) is a company registered in England and Wales (09908051) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 823590). Robinhood UK onboards UK customers and has the lead customer relationship with UK customers in relation to their use of the Robinhood UK app and website. Robinhood UK introduces UK customers to Robinhood Securities, LLC for order routing, execution, clearing, settlement, arranging custody services and margin lending to eligible UK customers with margin accounts. Robinhood Securities, LLC is regulated in the US by the SEC and FINRA. Robinhood UK and Robinhood Securities, LLC are subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc.

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All investing involves risk and a loss of principal is possible.

Robinhood U.K. Ltd (Robinhood UK) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 823590). Robinhood UK onboards UK customers and has the lead customer relationship with UK customers in relation to their use of the Robinhood UK app and website. Robinhood UK introduces UK customers to Robinhood Securities, LLC for order routing, execution, clearing, settlement, arranging custody services and margin lending to eligible UK customers with margin accounts. Robinhood Securities, LLC is regulated in the U.S. by the SEC and FINRA. Robinhood UK and Robinhood Securities, LLC are subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc.

Robinhood U.K. Ltd is a private limited company registered in England and Wales (09908051).

Robinhood does not provide investment advice. Individual investors should make their own decisions.

Commission-free trading of stocks refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood self-directed individual brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities and ADRs. Keep in mind, other costs such as regulatory fees may apply to your brokerage account. Please see Robinhood UK’s Fee Schedule to learn more.

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© 2024 Robinhood. All rights reserved.
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All investing involves risk and a loss of principal is possible.

Robinhood U.K. Ltd (Robinhood UK) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 823590). Robinhood UK onboards UK customers and has the lead customer relationship with UK customers in relation to their use of the Robinhood UK app and website. Robinhood UK introduces UK customers to Robinhood Securities, LLC for order routing, execution, clearing, settlement, arranging custody services and margin lending to eligible UK customers with margin accounts. Robinhood Securities, LLC is regulated in the U.S. by the SEC and FINRA. Robinhood UK and Robinhood Securities, LLC are subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc.

Robinhood U.K. Ltd is a private limited company registered in England and Wales (09908051).

Robinhood does not provide investment advice. Individual investors should make their own decisions.

Commission-free trading of stocks refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood self-directed individual brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities and ADRs. Keep in mind, other costs such as regulatory fees may apply to your brokerage account. Please see Robinhood UK’s Fee Schedule to learn more.

UK Privacy policy

© 2024 Robinhood. All rights reserved.