International shares

Which international stock markets can I trade on?

As well as UK shares you can also trade on six global stock markets with just one trading account. International markets have different opening times from the London Stock Exchange, effectively allowing you to trade shares from 8am until 9pm, Monday to Friday.

When you place an international order we will access the market directly through a third party trading provider and place your order onto the central market order book.

All orders are routed through international market counterparties, such as Banca IMI, who will act as an agent when dealing with the respective markets and/or their member firms.

Your order will be routed to our international market counterparty who will trade it at a price at least equivalent to that available on the relevant international stock exchange or trading venue.

Opening hours of international stock markets

Stock Exchange Local Times UK Times
New York (NYSE, NASDAQ, NYSEAmex) 09:30 - 16:00 14:30 - 21:00
Frankfurt (XETRA) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30
Milan (MTA) 09:00 - 17:25 08:00 - 16:25
Paris (Euronext) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30
Amsterdam (Euronext) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30
Brussels (Euronext) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30

During the change between Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time our opening hours may not match those of foreign markets.

Planning to trade on the New York Stock Exchange?

If you want to trade online on the New York Stock Exchange you’ll need to complete the NYSE Subscriber Agreement form and return this to:

Dealing Administration Department
Halifax Share Dealing
Lovell Park Road

Download the NYSE Subscriber Agreement

Limit orders

Limit orders – shares to be sold at a specific price or within a certain time – are handled differently for international orders than they are for UK trades.
Your instruction will be routed to our international market counterpart who will arrange its display at the price you specified on the relevant stock exchange or trading venue’s public limit order system.

It will be placed on that market’s central market order book and will be prioritised in terms of price (in the case of a limit) and time. Trades placed onto order books are visible to the entire market so as to contribute to the overall liquidity.
The stock or cash value of the order will therefore be unavailable for you to trade until the order is cancelled or completed.

What are the risks involved with international shares?

Dealing on foreign markets will involve different risks from UK markets - in some cases the risks may be greater.

Culture Language and cultural differences between the UK and foreign markets may mean that there is a lack of information, or difficulty in obtaining information you may consider important to your trading decisions.
Currency Risks Any potential profit or loss from your trade in foreign markets may be affected by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
Economy and Politics Economic or political factors such as inflation or interest rate fluctuations in the UK could affect overseas markets. The general economic outlook and market conditions may differ considerably between the UK and foreign markets causing them to be less – or more – favorable.
Emerging Markets Emerging markets tend to be less developed than in the UK leading to greater volatility in securities pricing. The value of your investments could, as a result, change quickly.
Shareholder Rights You may find, as a shareholder, you are excluded from some shareholder rights and benefits because you are resident in a different jurisdiction from that of the company you have invested in. An example would be participating in corporate events such as a Rights Issue. You may find you are not treated in the same way as other shareholders and could suffer losses as a result.
Taxation Tax laws overseas differ from those in the UK. Tax authorities in many countries will take a larger amount of tax than they would in the UK because of higher rates. Remember that ISAs and SIPPs will only shelter you from UK tax. How tax is calculated abroad could therefore affect the value of, and returns from, any foreign investments.
Trading and Settlement Foreign markets may trade at a lower volume than in the UK and this reduced liquidity may make it more difficult to sell shares you have bought. It could also cause delays with settlement.

What is Withholding Tax?

When dividends, interest payments or some other types of corporate settlement are made by foreign corporations or governments, Withholding Tax will usually be deducted at the point of payment and paid to the government of the country initiating that payment. The amount of Withholding Tax deducted can differ from country to country and will affect the value of the returns expected from a foreign investment. For example a 30% Withholding Tax applies to US dividends.

If you receive foreign payments from trading international securities through us, the amount of Withholding Tax you have paid will appear on your consolidated tax certificate, which can be viewed online. If you are not registered online we post this certificate to you at the end of the tax year.

Trading U.S securities

Halifax Share Dealing Limited has a Withholding Tax obligation to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning customers holding US securities or receiving income from the US. We must request and receive documentation from these customers to comply with our obligation. If a customer is eligible, we can apply a reduced rate of Withholding Tax to their US income but for this to happen, customers intending to trade in or already holding US securities must provide a valid Form W-8 or W-9.

Please note that we do not provide tax advice. If you have any questions you should consult a professional tax advisor.

Download a W-8BEN form
Download instructions for the W8-BEN form

Download a W-9 form
Download instructions for the W-9 form

Download a W-8ECI form
Download instructions for the W-8ECI form

Download a W-8EXP form
Download instructions for the W-8EXP form

Download a W-8IMY form
Download instructions for the W-8IMY form

Please send your completed form to:

Corporate Actions Department
Halifax Share Dealing
Lovell Park Road

What charges do I pay?

A commission charge of £12.50 will be made for all online trades in international shares. Telephone trades cost £25 commission.

Foreign currency conversions must be made when settling international transactions. We make a charge, when buying or selling international securities, of 1.25% either side of the available exchange rate, based on the rate provided by Digital Look.

We provide indicative exchange rates prior to trading and the rate applied to each trade is confirmed on the contract note after the deal is completed.

How is the foreign exchange charge worked out?

You buy 10 shares in a company valued at $100.00 per share. At the time the trade is placed, the £/$ exchange rate is 1.5200.

Cost of shares - 10 x $100.00 = $1,000.00
Cost of shares in GBP - $1,000.00/1.52 = £657.89

FX rate with FX charge added (1%): 1% of 1.52 = 0.0152
                                                           1.52 – 0.0152 = 1.5048

Cost of shares in GBP including FX charge = $1,000/1.5048 = £664.54

FX cost: £657.89 - £664.54 = £6.65

Halifax Share Dealing Limited.  Registered in England and Wales no. 3195646.  Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2RG.  Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HS under registration number 183332.  A Member of the London Stock Exchange and an HM Revenue & Customs Approved ISA Manager.

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Please remember that the value of an investment and the income from it can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.

We don't provide advice so if you are in any doubt about buying and selling shares or making your own investment decisions we recommend you seek advice from a suitably qualified Financial Advisor.

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