An ADR (American Depository Receipt) is a receipt/certificate that represents shares of a foreign stock owned and issued by a U.S. bank. The certificate and the number of ordinary shares of the foreign company the certificate represent can vary widely.
Why do ADR agents charge fees? ADR agents (banks and investment banks) purchase stocks on foreign exchanges and then sell receipts for these shares on American exchanges. The ADR fee compensates the agent for handling the inventory of the foreign stocks, satisfying all registration, compliance and record keeping requirements and services. To learn more about ADR fees visit https://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/adr-bulletin.pdf
Investor Tip: Please do not associate ADR fees with dividends. ADR fees are not charged in conjunction with a dividend anymore, they have nothing to do with each other.
Three great resources to obtain information on ADR and to find out the who is the depository are the following websites: