Electronic brokerage BuyandHold is to offer an online virtual direct stock purchase service to Citibank's American Depositary Receipt (ADR) issuers. The service will enable US individuals to invest in non-US companies through the BuyandHold Web site.
The partnership allows Citibank's non-US ADR issuers to build a US retail shareholder base. A Citibank analysis published last month shows that individuals hold 52% of US investment in foreign equities, either directly, in brokerage accounts or in mutual funds. ADRs pay dividends in US dollars, and trade and settle according to common market practices in the US.
"We want to create leading edge programs for our issuers to reach their target US investors," says Kurt Schneiber, global managing director, Citibank Depositary Receipt services. "As Citibank ADR drives international investment opportunity for individuals, BuyandHold's long-term investment approach and Internet delivery is an excellent fit."