Global Depositary Receipt (GDR) Definition and Example


What Is a International Depositary Receipt (GDR)?

A world depositary receipt (GDR) is a negotiable monetary instrument issued by a depositary financial institution. It represents shares in a overseas firm and trades on the native inventory exchanges in traders’ international locations. GDRs make it potential for a corporation (the issuer) to entry traders in capital markets past the borders of its personal nation.

GDRs are generally utilized by issuers to lift capital from worldwide traders via personal placement or public inventory choices.

A world depositary receipt is similar to an American depositary receipt (ADR) besides that an ADR solely lists shares of a overseas firm in U.S. markets.

Key Takeaways

  • A world depositary receipt is a tradable monetary safety.
  • It’s a certificates that represents shares in a overseas firm and trades on two or extra world inventory exchanges.
  • GDRs sometimes commerce on American inventory exchanges in addition to Eurozone or Asian exchanges.
  • GDRs and their dividends are priced within the native foreign money of the exchanges the place the GDRs are traded.
  • GDRs signify a simple approach for U.S. and worldwide traders to personal overseas shares.

Understanding International Depositary Receipts (GDRs)

A world depositary receipt is a kind of financial institution certificates that represents shares of inventory in a world firm. The shares underlying the GDR stay on deposit with a depositary financial institution or custodial establishment.

Whereas shares of a world firm commerce as home shares within the nation the place the corporate is positioned, world traders positioned elsewhere can put money into these shares via GDRs.

Utilizing GDRs, corporations can increase capital from traders in international locations around the globe. For these traders, the GDRs will probably be denominated of their dwelling nation currencies. Since GDRs are negotiable certificates, they commerce in a number of markets and might present arbitrage alternatives to traders.

GDRs are typically known as European Depositary Receipts, or EDRs, when European traders want to commerce regionally the shares of corporations positioned exterior of Europe.

GDR transactions are inclined to have decrease prices than another mechanisms that traders use to commerce in overseas securities.

Instance of a GDR

A U.S.-based firm that wishes its inventory to be listed on the London and Hong Kong Inventory Exchanges can accomplish this through a GDR. The U.S.-based firm enters right into a depositary receipt settlement with the respective overseas depositary banks. In flip, these banks package deal and challenge shares to their respective inventory exchanges. These actions comply with the regulatory compliance laws for each of the international locations.

A depositary is an unbiased, third-party entity akin to a financial institution that will act as a safekeeping facility and fiduciary. As an illustration, a depositary financial institution can present inventory associated providers for a depositary receipt program.

GDR Traits

GDRs are exchange-traded securities that aren’t instantly backed by any underlying collateral (as shares of an organization are backed by their property). GDRs as an alternative signify possession of shares in a overseas firm, the place these precise shares are traded overseas.

Completely different GDRs may have particular traits that differ from one to the following. These could embody:

  • Conversion ratio: The conversion ratio is the variety of shares of the underlying firm which can be represented by every GDR. This ratio can fluctuate from one GDR to a different, and it could be adjusted over time to mirror modifications within the underlying shares.
  • Denomination: GDRs might be denominated in several currencies, akin to U.S. {dollars}, euros, or kilos sterling. The foreign money used for a GDR could influence its value and the dangers related to the funding, akin to foreign money danger, as the value of its shares abroad are priced in native foreign money.
  • Sponsorship: GDRs are issued by depository banks, and the precise financial institution that sponsors a GDR could fluctuate from one GDR to a different. Completely different banks could have totally different reputations, monetary energy, and different traits that might influence the dangers and potential returns of a GDR.
  • Charges: GDRs may fluctuate by way of the charges which can be charged for issuing, buying and selling, or holding the GDRs. These charges can influence the general value and potential returns of an funding in a GDR.

Particular Concerns

A GDR distributed by a depositary financial institution represents a selected variety of underlying shares—anyplace from a fraction to a number of shares—in a particular worldwide firm. The actual share make-up for a GDR is determined by how enticing an funding it’ll make to native traders. As an illustration, within the U.S., a depositary financial institution would need to create GDRs with the variety of shares, or fractions thereof, and related U.S. greenback worth that U.S. traders is likely to be most snug with.

The depositary financial institution first buys the shares of the worldwide firm (or, receives them from an investor who already owns them). It then bundles a sure variety of them. This bundle is represented by a GDR. The GDR is then issued by the depositary financial institution on an area inventory trade. The underlying shares stay on deposit with the depositary financial institution (or custodian financial institution within the worldwide nation).

The buying and selling course of involving GDRs is regulated by the trade on which they commerce. For instance, within the U.S., world depositary receipts are quoted and commerce in U.S. {dollars}. Additionally they pay dividends with U.S. {dollars}. They’re topic to the buying and selling and settlement course of and laws of the trade the place their transactions happen.

Sometimes, GDRs are provided to institutional traders through a non-public supply, attributable to the truth that they’ll benefit from exemptions from registration underneath the Securities Act of 1933. This makes GDRs an environment friendly and cost-effective technique to entry cross-border capital. In truth, due to their flexibility and efficiencies, issuers from areas such because the Center East and Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America in addition to Europe have elevated their use of GDR packages to assist them obtain the goals they’ve for elevating capital.

Buying and selling GDRs

Worldwide corporations challenge GDRs to draw capital from overseas traders. GDRs commerce on the traders’ native exchanges whereas providing publicity to a world market. A custodian/depositary financial institution has possession of the GDRs underlying shares whereas trades happen, guaranteeing a stage of safety and facilitating participation for all concerned.

Brokers who signify patrons handle the acquisition and sale of GDRs. Typically, the brokers are from the house nation and function throughout the overseas market. The precise buy of the property is multi-staged, involving a dealer within the investor’s nation, a dealer positioned throughout the market of the worldwide firm, a depositary financial institution representing the customer, and a custodian financial institution.

Brokers also can promote GDRs on an investor’s behalf. An investor can promote them as-is on the right exchanges, or the investor can convert them into common inventory for the corporate. Moreover, they are often canceled and returned to the issuing firm.

Merchants dealing in GDRs usually examine the, for instance, U.S. greenback value of the GDR with the U.S. greenback equal value of the shares buying and selling on the worldwide firm’s home trade. They will sometimes purchase the inexpensive safety and promote the opposite. Ultimately, this arbitrage buying and selling exercise causes the underlying shares and the GDRs to succeed in parity.

As a result of buying and selling exercise referred to as arbitrage, a GDR’s value intently tracks that of the worldwide firm’s inventory on its dwelling trade.

Benefits and Disadvantages of GDRs


  • GDRs assist worldwide corporations attain a broader, extra numerous viewers of potential traders.
  • They will probably improve share liquidity.
  • Corporations can conduct an environment friendly and cost-effective personal providing.
  • Shares listed on main world exchanges can improve the standing or legitimacy of an in any other case unknown overseas firm.
  • For traders, GDRs present the chance to diversify portfolios internationally.
  • GDRs are extra handy and cheaper than opening overseas brokerage accounts and buying shares in overseas markets.
  • Buyers do not need to pay cross-border custody or safekeeping costs.
  • GDRs commerce, clear, and settle in line with the investor’s home course of and procedures.
  • U.S. holders of GDRs understand any dividends and capital good points in U.S. {dollars}.


  • GDRs could have vital administrative charges.
  • Dividend funds are web of foreign money conversion bills and overseas taxes.
  • The depositary financial institution mechanically withholds the quantity essential to cowl bills and overseas taxes.
  • U.S. traders might have to hunt a credit score from the Inside Income Service (IRS) or a refund from the overseas authorities’s taxing authority to keep away from double taxation on capital good points realized.
  • GDRs have the potential to have low liquidity, making them tough to promote.
  • Along with liquidity danger, they’ll have foreign money danger and political danger.
  • Which means the worth of GDR might fluctuate in line with precise occasions within the overseas county, akin to recession, monetary collapse, or political upheaval.

  • Straightforward to trace and commerce

  • Denominated in native foreign money

  • Regulated by native exchanges

  • Provides worldwide portfolio diversification


  • Extra advanced taxation

  • Restricted choice of corporations providing GDRs

  • Buyers uncovered not directly to foreign money and geopolitical danger

  • Potential lack of liquidity

GDRs vs. ADRs

International Depositary Receipts

International depositary receipts enable an organization to record its shares in a couple of nation exterior of its dwelling nation. For instance, a Chinese language firm might create a GDR program that points its shares via a depositary financial institution middleman into the London market and america market. Every issuance should adjust to all related legal guidelines in each the house nation and overseas markets individually.

American Depositary Receipts

Then again, an American depositary receipt, which additionally represents shares of a world firm, lists solely on U.S. inventory exchanges. To supply ADRs, a U.S. financial institution will buy shares on a overseas trade. The depositary financial institution will maintain the underlying shares and challenge an ADR for home buying and selling.

Sponsored ADRs

A financial institution points a sponsored ADR on behalf of a overseas firm. The financial institution and the enterprise enter right into a authorized association. Normally, the overseas firm pays the prices of issuing an ADR and retains management over it, whereas the financial institution handles the transactions with traders.

Sponsored ADRs are categorized by the diploma the overseas firm complies with SEC laws and American accounting procedures.

Unsponsored ADRs

A financial institution may challenge an unsponsored ADR. This certificates represents no direct involvement, participation, and even permission from the overseas firm.

Theoretically, there may very well be a number of unsponsored ADRs for a similar overseas firm, issued by totally different U.S. banks. These totally different ADRs might additionally supply various dividends. With sponsored packages, there is just one ADR, issued by the depositary financial institution working with the overseas firm.

What Is the That means of International Depositary Receipt?

A world depositary receipt is a negotiable certificates issued by a financial institution. The certificates represents shares in a overseas firm traded on an area inventory trade. GDRs give corporations entry to higher capital and traders the chance to put money into the fairness of overseas corporations.

What Are Some Options of GDRs?

GDRs might be listed on a number of world inventory exchanges, Additionally they present traders with the advantages and rights of the underlying shares, which might embody voting rights and dividends. GDRs commerce like shares and might be purchased and offered all through the day through an ordinary brokerage account.

What Is the Distinction Between an ADR and a GDR?

An American depositary receipt represents shares in a overseas firm and is listed solely on American exchanges. A GDR represents shares in a overseas firm and is listed on varied overseas inventory exchanges.

What Is an Instance of a GDR?

One instance of a GDR is the American oil and fuel firm, Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX). Along with buying and selling domestically, it has depositary receipts listed on exchanges in Brazil (P1SX34), France (R66), Vienna (PSXC), and London (0KHZ.L), amongst others.

The Backside Line

For U.S. traders, world depositary receipts supply a technique to personal fairness in overseas corporations whereas buying and selling its consultant shares on an area inventory trade. Actually, GDRs have their dangers, together with dwelling nation financial and political danger, foreign money danger, and liquidity danger.

Nevertheless, GDRs additionally supply noteworthy advantages that embody the potential for a globally diversified portfolio, the power to commerce, clear, and settle transactions in line with native laws, no cross-border custody/safekeeping costs, and dividend funds in U.S. {dollars}.