How come some companies have stock symbols in different markets? Eg. if I wanna buy stocks in Nokia corporation I see they have different stocks to choose from. How do I find out the difference between these stocks and how do I decide which of their stocks to buy?


  • 1
    You do know that Nokia is headquartered in Finland, right? Thus, it makes sense for it to be listed on a local exchange over in Helsinki as well as a main US exchange like the NYSE. There were other listings but those have stopped according to Nokia's site: " Nokia delisted its Swedish Depository Receipts (SDRs) from Stockholm Stock Exchange. The final day of trading was June 1, 2007 Nokia delisted from Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The final day of trading is/was March 16, 2012"
    – JB King
    Feb 6, 2013 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


The companies have Symbols on all exchanges where they are traded. They can be in different countries, with different prices and in different currencies. Also maybe trading at different times (as market hours vary).

  • Ok, so they all represent the same company? And the difference in price is caused by investors who value the company differently?
    – Ben Adams
    Feb 6, 2013 at 19:29
  • @BenAnderson: They represent the same company, however there could be differences as to what is listed, normal stocks, special stocks like ADR, par value of the stock etc ... fennec has a better reply on this.
    – Dheer
    Feb 7, 2013 at 4:50

NYSE:NOK is not a share in Nokia directly. It's a share in the Nokia ADR. An ADR is an American depository receipt, which is basically a container for the shares that trade on another exchange in another country. The ADR is denominated in dollars and trades in the US, for convenience of Americans.

The price of the ADR on the American exchanges will generally very close to the price of the native shares on the company's native exchange. If the two prices ever diverged significantly (due to stock-value shifts or currency shifts) then the high-speed-trading establishment would be willing to buy from the guy on one exchange selling the shares for cheaper, and sell to the people on the other exchange offering more, until both are satisfied (or update their buy/sell offering prices).

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