Bank of New York Co. is taking discount stock sales to the international arena.

The bank announced last week that it has established a direct-purchase plan for retail investors in shares in some 250 foreign companies which have American Depositary Receipts listed on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq.

Investors who use the service, Global BuyDirect, will pay about 10 cents on average to buy a share.

Transactions as small as $50 and as large as $250,000 will be handled.

"This will permit people to make small or large investments at a deeply discounted commission on a scheduled or unscheduled basis," said Kenneth Lopian, senior vice president in charge of Bank of New York's ADR program.

The program provides account administration and record keeping and allows users to take cash payments, reinvest part or all of their dividends, or set up regularly scheduled purchases of additional shares.

Among the foreign companies which have agreed to sell their shares through Global BuyDirect are Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Ltd., Ricoh Company Ltd., and Luxottica Group SpA.

Since Bank of New York has not obtained a separate brokerage license to sell the shares, the program is not available at branches. Interested investors will have to use an "800" number in order to register.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.