ADR REPORT-U.S.-listed shares of Panasonic plunge on delistings news

NEW YORK, April 1 Mon Apr 1, 2013 5:26pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S.-listed shares of Panasonic Corp fell sharply on Monday after the Japanese electronics giant said it will delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange.

In a press release, the company said "the continued listing on the NYSE is not economically justified," as the trading volume of Panasonic's American depositary shares (ADSs) accounts for only a small fraction of the total trading volume of Panasonic's shares.

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported a unit of Panasonic Corp is under investigation by U.S. authorities looking at whether the company paid bribes overseas to airline employees or government officials to help land business.

A spokesman for Panasonic's North American operations said the delisting has "no relation" to the news report.

According to the NYSE, voluntary delisting of ADRs fell in the past few years, where as new listing have increased. In 2012, six foreign firms delisted their shares from the NYSE, compared with 11 firms in 2009.

New listings of ADRs on the NYSE rose to 20 last year from just 11 in 2009.

"I don't think there is a trend of delisting of ADRs. In the past year or so, it's been pretty sporadic and company-specific rather than a trend," said Bryant Evans, investment advisor and portfolio manager at Cozad Asset Management in Champaign, Illinois who manages ADR index and ADR stock portfolios for the firm.

On Monday, the BNY Mellon index of leading American depositary receipts fell 0.9 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.5 percent.

The BNY Mellon index of leading European ADRs lost 0.4 percent, while the BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs fell 2 percent.

The BNY Mellon index of leading Latin American ADRs fell 0.9 percent.

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