ADR Holdings of U.S.- Based Emerging Market Funds
50 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2005 Last revised: 24 Feb 2012
Date Written: October 8, 2010
The benefits of cross-listing for a foreign "issuer" are extensively documented in the literature, however it is not clear what motivates "investors" to hold American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) rather than the underlying stock of these issuers. We analyze the investment allocation decision of mutual fund managers to invest in emerging market firms that are listed in their domestic markets and have also issued ADRs in the U.S. Although legal provisions are typically assumed to affect ADRs and their underlying domestic shares equally, investors holding ADRs may have a higher level of legal protection as these securities are issued and traded in the U.S. We find that ADRs are the preferred mode of holdings if the local market of the issuer has weak investor protection, low liquidity and high transaction costs, and if the firm is small and has limited analyst following. We also find that not all ADR listings are associated with low liquidity in the underlying security. In fact, firms with strong liquidity for their underlying security are likely to be held via their underlying security rather than the ADRs. This suggests that ADR listings of local firms might not negatively impact local markets if the investment climate is good.
Keywords: ADR, Emerging Markets, Portfolio Allocation, Shareholder Rights
JEL Classification: G11, G15, G18, G23, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation