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Can I buy Molecular Partners (MOLN) stock in Canada?

If you live in Canada, you can't buy Molecular Partners American Depositary Shares (ADSs). But you can invest in similar companies.

Molecular Partners AG, the digital arm of a financial services company based in Hong Kong, has gone public on the NYSE. Learn more about the Molecular Partners AG IPO, and find out if investors in Canada can buy in.

Note: all dollar amounts on this page are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What we know about the Molecular Partners AG IPO

On Wednesday June 16, 2021, Molecular Partners AG, a Switzerland-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “MOLN.” The company offered 3 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs).

Shares opened at a price of $20. This was 26% lower than the share price that was announced on June 8, which was $27. Closer to the IPO date, the company lowered its initial share price to $21.15. But this still fell short of the actual price investors were willing to pay when stocks began trading.

Altogether, Molecular Partners raised $63.8 million, which fell somewhat short of its earlier goal of raising $81 million.

Molecular Partners originally filed a prospectus with the the US Securities and Exchange Commission on April 22, 2021. According to the document, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, SVB Leerink LLC and Cowen and Company, LLC acted as lead underwriters of the IPO.

Can I buy Molecular Partners AG stock in Canada?

Unfortunately, no. Molecular Partners AG is only selling American Depositary Shares, which are equity shares of a non-US company held by a US depository bank. Generally, only US residents can have accounts with US depository banks. So, Canadians can’t buy Molecular Partners stocks directly.

Depository Banks are financial institutions that hold people’s assets (money, securities etc.) for safekeeping. Where stock trading is concerned, depository banks make it relatively safe and easy for US residents to buy stocks in foreign companies that trade on US exchanges like the NYSE or the Nasdaq. This is because a depository bank act as a custodian of stocks until they’re sold, after which it transfers the stocks between investors’ accounts.

Buy stocks in similar companies

Even though you can’t buy Molecular Partners stock directly if you reside in Canada, you can still invest in other biopharmaceutical companies that are traded on Canadian and international stock exchanges.

CompanyMarket CapitalizationStock info
Aeterna Zentaris Inc.$147.81 MillionTSX: AEZS
Devonian Health Group Inc.$55.28 MillionTSXV: GSD
Johnson & Johnson$439.99 BillionNYSE: JNJ
Bayer Aktiengesellschaft$52.19 BillionXETRA: BAYN.DE
Pfizer Inc.$227.71 BillionNYSE: PFE
Merck & Co., Inc.$192.79 BillionNYSE: MRK
GlaxoSmithKline plc$99.96 BillionNYSE: GSK
AbbVie Inc.$205.31 BillionNYSE: ABBV
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited$54.42 BillionNYSE: TAK
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co., Ltd$65.97 BillionHKSE: 2607.HK

How to buy stocks in a company

You’ll need a brokerage account to buy and sell shares. Here’s how it works:

  1. Compare share trading platforms. If you’re a beginner, look for a platform with low commissions, expert ratings and investment tools to track your portfolio. Narrow down top brands with our comparison table.
  2. Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, like your ID and bank information. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
  3. Search for the company you want to invest in. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol (for example, JNJ). Research its history to confirm it’s a solid investment against your financial goals.
  4. Purchase now or later. Buy immediately with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until the stock reaches your desired price. To spread out your purchase, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying at consistent intervals and amounts.
  5. Decide on how many to buy. Weigh your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimize risk through the market’s ups and downs. You may be able to buy fractional shares of companies, depending on your broker.
  6. Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own part of a company! Optimize your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights on directors and management that can affect your stock.

Tax implications of buying US stocks in Canada

Agreements between Canada and the US require Canadians holding US stock investments to pay the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a 15% withholding tax on any dividends earned on their US stocks. Interest earned from bonds or other interest-yielding US investments are similarly taxed at a rate of 10%.

An exception is made for stock investments held in trust exclusively designed to provide retirement income. Such trusts include RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs, LRIFs and Prescribed RRIFs. RRSPs are also exempt from US withholding tax if you own US investments in the form of US stocks, bonds or ETFs.

Investment accounts that do not qualify for this exemption include RESPs, TFSAs and RDSPs.

All income from investments, including foreign investments, must be declared as part of your income on your Canadian tax return. Unless your US earnings are exempt from withholding tax, this means you’ll be double taxed on those earnings — first by the IRS, then by the CRA. However, the CRA may allow you to claim foreign tax credits for any taxes you’ve already paid to the IRS.

Speak with a tax professional to find out what rules and exceptions apply to your circumstances.

Open a stock trading account

You can compare features of stock trading platforms in the table below. Once you’ve decided on the right fit for your needs, click the “Go to site” button to get started.

Name Product Available Asset Types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
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Wealthsimple Trade
Stocks, ETFs
$0
N/A
$0
Free
Get a $50 bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $150.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
BMO InvestorLine
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$9.95
$9.95 + $1.25 per options contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $9.95
Buy and sell a select group of Canada’s most popular ETFs without paying commissions.
An easy-to-use online trading platform with access to research, tools, and the option to access InvestorLine adviceDirect for additional professional support.
Scotia iTRADE
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
$4.99-$9.99
$9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
$0
$9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Pay no annual account fees.
Buy, sell and trade ETFs, Equities, Options and more with competitive commissions.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$4.95 - $6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 (+$1.25 per contract)
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
$6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 is applicable for online stock, ETF and option trades only. Pay $4.95 when you qualify as an Active Trader (trade 150+ times per quarter).
An intuitive and easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools that help you make smart decisions and trade with confidence.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
$1.50 min. per order
$0
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Extensive trading capabilities and global investment tracking.
Access market data 24 hours a day, six days a week and invest in global stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from one single account.
Questrade
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95-$9.95
$9.95 + $1 per contract
$0
Free
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.
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Qtrade Direct Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $8.75
Get up to 50 free trades. Be one of the first 100 new Qtrade clients to use the promo code 50FREETRADES and deposit a minimum of $10,000 (or top up to $15,000 to get $150 transfer fees waived). Valid until September 30, 2021.
Qtrade Direct Investing offers low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options. Trade 100 ETFs free of charge and thousands more for $8.75 or lower.
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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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