Trading volume of American depository receipts hit record levels in 1997 at the Bank of New York Co. Ltd. And bank officials expect U.S. investors to continue to seek non-U.S. equities for the next three years, particularly in light of continued privatization of state-owned businesses abroad.
ADR activity was 23% greater in 1997 than in 1996; the associated dollar value was about $555 billion in 1997, 53% more than 1996, according to the bank.
The most actively traded companies were in the United Kingdom, Mexico and the Netherlands, according to the bank. Programs with the highest dollar volumes in trading included Brazilian telephone company Telebras, Rio de Janiero; phone company Telefonos de Mexico S.A., Cuauhtemoc; and Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. of The Hague. Share volume was greatest from Telebras, Telefonos de Mexico and L.M. Ericsson of Stockholm, Sweden.
"We expect Europe will be the most active region for new programs in 1998, with Brazil, Mexico, China and India doing well despite recent emerging market difficulties," said Kenneth Lopian, head of the ADR division.