Depositary receipts (DRs) are securities issued by a depositary representing underlying shares of a corporation which have been placed with the depositary or its nominated custodian. DRs are purchased by investors (DR holders) in accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement. The depositary acts as a bridge between the DR holders and the issuer.
DRs are issued to investors in the target market (the host market) where they are traded, cleared and settled in host market currency in accordance with host market procedures. One DR will represent a number of underlying shares (or a fraction of a single share), according to the DR ratio. The depositary converts dividends into the host market currency and pays the amounts (net of its own fees) to the DR holders. The depositary also transmits other entitlements and corporate communications from the issuer to the DR holder, and transmits the DR holder’s instructions back to the issuer. The respective rights and obligations of the issuer, the depositary and the DR holders are set out in the deposit agreement.
‘HDR’ is the informal name for a depositary receipt programme listed on the Exchange.