An American Depositary Share (ADS) is a security which has been created to permit investors in the US to hold shares in non-US companies and trade them on the stock exchanges in the US. Like many other British companies, BT shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of ADSs. Each BT ADS is equivalent to 5 ordinary shares.
Trading in ADSs, as opposed to ordinary shares, permits US residents to trade in US dollars in the US securities markets with US securities dealers, in the same way as they trade any US securities.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate between the pound sterling and the US dollar affect the dollar equivalent of the pound sterling price of the Company's ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange and, as a result, are likely to affect the market place of the ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange.
You can buy or sell BT ADSs through a broker or directly through the Global Invest Direct purchase plan run by JPMorgan Chase Bank. Global Invest Direct also provides for the reinvestment of dividends.