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International Shares

With many portfolios heavily weighted to Australian equities, having some international exposure can help you diversify of your portfolio, giving you exposure to economies and markets that are less heavily weighted to Australia’s dominant mining and financials sectors.

You can access international investments through the direct purchase of individual stocks, through managed funds, or through exchange-traded funds, which allow investors to gain exposure to whole markets or sectors in one product.

Through Burrell, you can access such global market opportunities. We have global affiliations with agents in the UK, America and New Zealand, and through these we can trade in most major overseas markets.

Overseas holdings in individual stocks cannot be registered on the ASX CHESS system and are usually held within a broker’s nominee account. This is an efficient way to hold international shares as:

  • investors can access nearly every major stock market in the world without having to set up a broking account in each country; that is,  transact through one account in multiple markets
  • we handle all currency management, and settle trades and pay dividends in Australian dollars, so you don’t have to worry about currency transfers and paying commissions; and
  • individual stocks held can be transferred from a nominee holding into your own name and issued as a certificate (at an additional cost) once purchased.

As a potential international investor, you may be interested in Burrell’s own registered managed investment scheme, Burrell World Equities Trust (BWET). BWET is open to both retail and wholesale investors and offers diversification away from the Australian equities market into listed international equities, exchange-traded funds and managed funds. BWET may also invest in domestic equities and funds that have sufficient international presence, We may also use: foreign exchange hedging instruments to hedge fluctuations in foreign currencies; and index hedging instruments to hedge fluctuations in the value of the overall portfolio. 

There are risks and other considerations when investing internationally:

  • Foreign market fluctuations and currency risk. As well as changes in financial markets, returns can be affected by changes in currency exchange rates unless the fund is fully hedged (a form of price insurance against adverse currency movements). For example, a high Australian dollar helps when buying international shares but will be a disadvantage when selling them and converting the proceeds back into Australian dollars.
  • Double brokerage. You will incur both Burrell’s brokerage and the international agent’s brokerage and outlays.
  • Necessary paperwork. Many other countries’ shareholdings are certificated. Australia’s stock market is one of the few in the world that has moved to being wholly computerised. If you want to sell your international stock, you will need to provide the share certificate. You don’t want to lose it as there is no easy recourse.
  • Differing time zones. The immediate execution of an order may not be possible. Other than New Zealand, all overseas markets open after the Australian market, with Europe and American markets open when the Australian market is closed. 
Selling certificated shares

We may be able to assist you with selling certificated international shares. However, we cannot assist with all stocks and are limited to certain jurisdictions and markets.

Selling international certificated (paper based) shares is complex and takes time. Costs differ depending on jurisdiction. The minimum time period to sell international certificated shares is six weeks, but can take months. If you have a physical share certificate in an international stock please contact us to discuss options.

Get started

Burrell will provide you with the research you need, all you need to get started is to open a Burrell broking account.

Contact us for an obligation-free conversation. 
Call 1300 4 BURRELL for more information.