World’s Best Depositary Receipts Banks 2019

Global Finance selects the best banks for depositary receipts and the companies involved in the best depositary receipts programs of 2019.

Cross-border investing is growing rapidly as investors purchase foreign stocks and bonds to diversify their portfolios. Depositary receipts—securities that can be bought and sold on local exchanges in one country that represent the publicly traded shares of a foreign company—offer easy access to fast-growing markets around the world. Depositary receipts are also an important tool for corporate issuers to access global capital markets and broaden their investor base.

This year, for the first time, Global Finance honors those depositary banks and programs that provide the best value-added services to issuers, brokers and investors.

According to the Federal Reserve Board, US investment in non-US equities has increased from practically zero in the 1980s to about $9 trillion today. The value of American depositary receipts (ADRs) held by institutional investors now totals more than $1.1 trillion, with mutual funds holding the largest share.

The total amount of capital raised using depositary receipts rose 19% last year to $18.8 billion, with three-quarters of the total coming from companies in the Asia-Pacific region, most notably China. In addition to raising capital, depositary receipts are often used in cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

While these awards cover the calendar year 2018, depositary banks are anticipating the introduction this year of the Shanghai-London Stock Connect project, which will allow Chinese companies to list on the London Stock Exchange via global depositary receipts (GDRs), and UK companies to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange via Chinese depositary receipts (CDRs).

Global Finance’s global award for the Best Depositary Receipts Bank goes to BNY Mellon, which alone accounts for half of all globally sponsored DR programs. The bank’s market share is as high as 75% for sponsored programs in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf, and 81% in sub-Saharan Africa. The bank focuses on the unique needs of its DR clients, free from the influence of investment banking, trading and research functions.

BNY Mellon Depositary Receipts’ Global Investor Relations Advisory teampartners with clients to help them take full advantage of global market-access opportunities. With specialists in New York and London, this service includes solutions for global investors and brokers.

Deutsche Bank is Global Finance’s choice for Best American Depositary Receipts Bank due to its leading role in initial public offerings (IPOs) by Chinese companies using depositary receipts. The bank acted as depositary for 41% of the new Chinese DR programs launched in 2018. These included automaker NIO, e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, OneSmart International Education Group, and Bilibili, a video-sharing website.

In Europe, Deutsche Bank became the successor depositary for the ADR program of Hugo Boss. The bank also was appointed as successor New York transfer agent for Dutch multinational Koninklijke Philips’ registry shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Citi wins the award for Best Global Depositary Receipt Bank. Citi was appointed as depositary bank for the $1 billion Singapore-listed GDR program of Kakao, a leading lifestyle mobile platform in South Korea. The bank also was named depositary bank for Kazatomprom’s GDR program, listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company is the world’s largest uranium producer, and its IPO last November was the first by a Kazakhstan company since 2006.

The global award for the Best Depositary Receipt Program goes to China’s iQiyi, an online entertainment service with more than 500 million monthly active users. JPMorgan Chase is the depositary for iQiyi’s Nasdaq ADR program. Sometimes referred to as the Netflix of China, iQiyi raised $2.42 billion in its IPO, the largest DR capital raising of 2018.

Citi wins Global Finance’s award for the Best Depositary Receipt Bank for Capital Raising. The bank was the leader in this category, both in terms of capital raised ($5.7 billion) and in the number of capital raisings, with 26 such programs last year.

BNY Mellon takes the award for Best Bank for Unsponsored Depositary Receipts. The bank was the first to file on 43% of the 44 newly established unsponsored programs in 2018, more than any other depositary bank. The number of unsponsored programs, created without the involvement of the foreign issuer, has grown dramatically since 2008. That was when the US Securities and Exchange Commission amended reporting requirements for certain foreign issuers and simplified the establishment of programs that issue ADRs that trade in the over-the-counter market.

Deutsche Bank’s innovative Australian TraCR product is the winner of the Best Local Depositary Receipts award. TraCRs are unsponsored transferable custody receipts that are issued and trade in Australian dollars. They trade on the alternative Chi-X Australia market during Australian trading hours and give investors exposure to some of the largest US-listed companies. The first such company was Apple, for which a TraCr was launched in October 2018.

Among the regional awards, Central Puerto, a generator and distributor of electricity in Argentina, is the winner of Best Depositary Receipt Program in the Americas. Citi was appointed as depositary bank for Central Puerto’s NYSE-listed ADR program, which completed a successful $300 million IPO in February 2018.

Slovenian state-owned bank Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) wins the award for the Best Depositary Receipt Program in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). NLB appointed BNY Mellon as depositary bank for its DR program, which is denominated in euros and trades on the London Stock Exchange. The program reopened the DR market in Slovenia, which had been inactive since the last such program was delisted in London in the early 2000s.

The award for the Best Depositary Receipt Program in Asia goes to Pinduoduo, a Chinese e-commerce platform that allows users to participate in group-buying deals, mostly through Tencent’s WeChat app. Pinduoduo appointed Deutsche Bank as depositary for its Nasdaq-listed ADR. Pinduoduo’s IPO and follow-on offering totaling $3.32 billion was the largest transaction by an Asian issuer last year.



Best Depositary Receipts Bank BNY Mellon
Best ADR Bank Deutsche Bank
Best GDR Bank Citi
Best DR Program Globally iQITI (JPMorgan Chase)
Best DR Bank for Capital Raising Citi
Best Bank for Unsponsored DRs BNY Mellon
Best LDR (Local Depositary Receipts) Deutsche Bank Australia TraCRs


Best DR Program in the Americas Central Puerto (Citi)
Best DR Program in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Nova Ljubljanska banka (BNY Mellon)
Best DR Program in Asia Pinduoduo (Deutsche Bank)


Global Finance’s editorial board considered market research, input from expert sources and entry information from banks to select the institutions that reliably provide the best services in 82 countries and seven regions of the world. The criteria included customer service, competitive pricing, smooth handling of exception items, technology platforms, post-settlement operations, business continuity plans and knowledge of local markets, regulations and practices. Performance was judged over the calendar year 2018.