Elan top Irish company in ADR trading

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 00:00

BNY Mellon has released some interesting figures on the volume of trading in American depository receipts (ADRs) in Irish companies last year.

ADRs allow investors to buy stocks in foreign companies through their local stock exchanges, meaning investors in the US and elsewhere can buy into these companies in dollars.

Irish listed groups operating these programmes include CRH, Elan, Bank of Ireland, Kerry Group and Ryanair.

Last year, the volume of shares traded in Irish companies rose by 2.6 per cent to $16.6 billion.While not an earth shattering increase, at least it’s heading in the right direction.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the company’s profile and the fact that its head office is based in the US, the biggest mover was Elan.

Beverage sector

The biopharmaceuticals group is one of the most actively traded US-listed ADRs globally with 855 million shares traded with a value of $10.5 billion last year – up from $8.2 billion in 2011.

Another big mover in 2012 was Clonmel-based drinks group CC, which saw international investors trading 1.8 million shares – compared to 30,000 two years ago – to the value of $24 million.

This trend was replicated globally with the beverage sector outperforming all others with an 18 per cent increase in trading volume during 2012.

At the other end of the scale, the volume of Bank of Ireland ADRs traded last year dropped to €1.21 billion from $1.71 billion in 2011.

Given the many challenges he faces in returning the bank to the black, this is unlikely to cause chief executive Richie Boucher too many sleepless nights.