ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) allow US investors to get exposure to shares in foreign companies without the hassle of owning shares denominated in a foreign currency.

They are created when a depository bank, such as JP Morgan, buys foreign shares and then issues separate dollar-denominated ADRs to US investors. These can be subsequently traded in the US market just like the shares themselves.

The attraction of ADRs is that holding them confers all the usual benefits of share ownership such as dividends and voting rights, but without the need to deal directly on overseas markets or in foreign currencies.