An American Depository Receipt, or ADR, is an instrument that trades like a stock but is composed of ordinary shares of a foreign corporation. Customers who hold supported ADRs (listed on the Supported ADRs page) can now use IB's Voluntary Election Tool to convert ADRs into their ordinary shares.
ADRs provide a convenient and cost-effective way to buy foreign shares without incurring foreign tax obligations on each transaction. While ADR prices tend to follow the price of the foreign underlying shares, it may be the case that these prices diverge to create an arbitrage opportunity. The Voluntary Election Tool provides a simple process for converting your ADR into the underlying foreign shares.
Note that the number of ordinary shares that make up each ADR varies, and the ratio of shares to ADR is indicated by the ADR ratio. For example, the ADR "RDS A" for Royal Dutch Shell has a ratio of 2:1, or two ordinary shares per one ADR. If the shares were trading at 35.00 USD, the price of the ADR would likely be around 70.00 USD.
Customers who want to convert their ADRs to the underlying shares, perhaps to take advantage of an arbitrage opportunity, can now use the Voluntary Election Tool in Account Management to manage the process.
To access the Voluntary Election Tool, log into Account Management. For more details on using the conversion tool, see the ADR Conversion Process knowledge base article. To see the list of conversion-supported ADRs, see the Supported ADRs tab.
For non-supported ADRs, please submit an Inquiry Ticket via Account Management.