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Depositary receipts reach record levels in 2004

Trading volumes, trading value and total investment in the American and global depositary receipt (ADR) market have reached record levels in 2004, according to a recent report by the Bank of New York (BoNY). The report estimates that trading volume in 2004 will total $885 billion, representing 39.1 billion depositary receipts on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange (Amex) and Nasdaq. Comparable figures in 2003 show a trading value of $632 billion accounting for 33.1 billion depositary receipts ? 2004 figures show a 40% increase in trading value and 18.1% increase in trading volume.

The ADR market allows non-US corporates to tap US investors and provides access to the US dollar. Some observers have suggested that Sarbanes-Oxley regulation in the US would deter companies from listing due to the perceived challenges around accounting compliance. The BoNY report suggests otherwise.

Christopher Sturdy, head of BoNY's depositary receipt division, says: ?The year's activity demonstrates the strength and resiliency of the depositary receipt market place, particularly taking into account the uncertain global macroeconomic climate and concern over increased regulatory issues.?

Energy shares proved the most actively traded shares with British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Petroleum taking the top spots.

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