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A couple questions about stocks:

  1. Can a stock be listed on multiple exchanges throughout the world?
  2. Can the price of a stock be different for you based on where you are in the world, or is the price universal for everyone regardless of physical location?
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  1. Depends. The short answer is yes; HSBC, for instance, based in New York, is listed on both the LSE and NYSE. Toyota's listed on the TSE and NYSE.

    There are many ways to do this; both of the above examples are the result of a corporation owning a subsidiary in a foreign country by the same name (a holding company), which sells its own stock on the local market. The home corporation owns the majority holdings of the subsidiary, and issues its own stock on its "home country's" exchange. It is also possible for the same company to list shares of the same "pool" of stock on two different exchanges (the foreign exchange usually lists the stock in the corporation's home currency and the share prices are near-identical), or for a company to sell different portions of itself on different exchanges. However, these are much rarer; for tax liability and other cost purposes it's usually easier to keep American monies in America and Japanese monies in Japan by setting up two "copies" of yourself with one owning the other, and move money around between companies as necessary.

  2. Shares of one issue of one company's stock, on one exchange, are the same price regardless of where in the world you place a buy order from. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll pay the same actual value of currency for the stock. First off, you buy the stock in the listed currency, which means buying dollars (or Yen or Euros or GBP) with both a fluctuating exchange rate between currencies and a broker's fee (one of those cost savings that make it a good idea to charter subsidiaries; could you imagine millions a day in car sales moving from American dealers to Toyota of Japan, converted from USD to Yen, with a FOREX commission to be paid?). Second, you'll pay the stock broker a commission, and he may charge different rates for different exchanges that are cheaper or more costly for him to do business in (he might need a trader on the floor at each exchange or contract with a foreign broker for a cut of the commission).

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