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Depository receipts show consistent volume


Depositary receipt trading in the US has reached 14.8 billion shares, worth $265 billion, in the first half of 2003. This compares to 14.7 billion shares worth $281 billion for the same period in 2002.


Thirty-five public and private programmes have been created in 2003, compared to 70 programmes in the same period for 2002. While the number of deals is down, the size of the average issuance has clearly increased.


Telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and the semiconductor industries have been identified as particularly active sectors, with large programmes launched by Nokia, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Ericsson.


"First half trading volume is strong considering the geopolitical climate of the past six months," says Timothy Keaney, head of the American depository receipt division at the Bank of New York. He is also bullish about the economic outlook, predicting an M&A surge: "We are anticipating a pick-up in merger and acquisition activity over the next 12 months as companies flush with capital confident about moving forward with acquisitions."


Depositary receipt issuance was highest for companies in the UK, the Netherlands, Finland and Taiwan. And just to prove it, Chungwa Telecoms, the Taiwanese communications provider, has just announced its intention to issue $2 billion worth of depository receipts in the US.

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