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Q: I am looking for a list of all companies that have ADRs (American Depository Receipts) and trade on exchanges in sub-Saharan African countries. Where can I find this?
–I. McGant, B.E. Bulletin Board
A: American Depository Receipts are negotiable certificates that are used for trading foreign securities held in American banks. (There are Global Depository Receipts as well.) Many major banks including The Bank of New York, Citibank, and JPMorgan Chase hold ADRs and have Websites that will give you information on the thousands of issues that are traded in the U.S.
Since you specifically asked for information on ADRs from sub-Saharan African countries, check out The Bank of New York’s depository receipts directory at http://188.8.131.52/dr_directory .jsp. The site boasts it has the most complete directory of depository receipts in the world, and you can search by bank (depository), exchange, and country or region of the world.
Investing in ADRs from Sub-Saharan African countries is very risky, and I would encourage you to seek the advice of a seasoned investment advisor before you make any purchases. You might want to consider researching Sasol Ltd. (Nasdaq: SASOY), a natural gas and petroleum distributor in South Africa, which has plans to construct a new natural gas processing plant in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar, as well as researching Ashanti Goldfields Co. Ltd. (NYSE: ASL), a mining and minerals concern in Ghana, which seems to have righted itself after some financial troubles in 2001. For general information on ADRs, try www.adr.com, a site sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. You’ll find news on world markets and the top-performing ADRs.