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Is the ex-dividend date linked to the time zone of the market it is bought at? Let's imagine an American firms stock traded at NASDAQ and a German market, the ex-Dividend day being the 1st February. This announcement is made on their American website, without specifying a time zone. I want to get the dividend.

1) The German market opens at 8am on February 1st local time, which would be 2am on February 1st New York time. I sell my shares at 8am. So the trade would have been made on ex-dividend day, with NASDAQ being closed. Will I get the dividend?

2) Let's imagine a bigger time difference, where the market I sell the stock is 8am in the morning of February 1st local time, but New York Time is sill 11pm on January 31. Will I get the dividend?

Or phrased differently, is the Ex-dividend linked to a date, independent of time zones, or is it linked to a local time zone?

  • Apple Stocks (US0378331005). Ex-Dividend date is tomorrow. – Dans May 8 '13 at 17:00
  • I believe you're talking about EDR/ADR's. – littleadv May 8 '13 at 17:19
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    @Joe I think the OP's question is about the date change - where does it change. In Cupertino? New York? Frankfurt? – littleadv May 8 '13 at 17:20
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    Well the question is, that I don't know how the computers consider it. Being strict, I would sell the shares before Nasdaq opens, so on opening, or even before hours trading on 9th May, i would have no shares of Apple on Nasdaq. Unless my trade is registered somewhere else, which brings me back to the question where the date is being considered. Does the date count for the whole day or opening hours +before/after trading hours only) – Dans May 8 '13 at 17:33
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Ex-Date is a function of the exchange, as well as the dividend. Consider Deutsche Bank AG, DB on the NYSE, DKR on Xetra.

For a given dividend, each exchange sets the ex-date for trades on that exchange. (See http://www.sec.gov/answers/dividen.htm for a description of how it works in the US; other exchanges/countries are similar.) This ex-date is normally based on the dividends record date, which is when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the dividend, and based on when trades for an exchange are settled. The ex-date is the first date for which trades on that date will not settle until after the record date.

This means that the ex-date can be different for different exchanges. If you sell your shares on an exchange before the ex-date for that exchange, you will not get the dividend. If you sell your shares on or after the ex-date for the exchange, you do not get the dividend. So it depends on the time zone of the exchange.

Most stock exchanges trade T+3, but this can still come into play if there are bank holidays in different countries at different times.

  • Don't you mean "If you sell your shares on or after the ex-date for the exchange," you do get the dividend. – Victor May 8 '13 at 21:49
  • So what you are saying is that a company listed on multiple exchanges may have different ex-dates for each exchange. If so, that is what I thought. – Victor May 8 '13 at 21:52
  • This makes me wonder when the probable price drop effect on ex-divident date kicks in. The exchange I trade on is T+2. So going by that, tomorrow should be a totally uneventful day in that regard, as the ex-dividend day is May 10th. Surely the latest when NASDAQ (with ex-div date May 9th) opens, the effects will be felt, but what about the 2 hours the German exchange opens before Nasdaq? Or asked the other way around, will there be a possible price drop on May 10th too, as the German exchange goes ex-div? – Dans May 8 '13 at 23:19

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