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glossary


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Balance Sheet

A financial statement showing a company's assets, liabilities and shareholders' equity on a given date.

Balloon

In some serial bond issues an extra-large amount may mature in the final year of the series - the "balloon".

Bank Rate

The minimum rate at which the Bank of Canada makes short-term advances to the chartered banks, other members of the Canadian Payments Association and investment dealers who are money market "jobbers". Historically the Bank Rate has been administered directly by the Bank of Canada and was changed from time to time as a symbolic indicator of the Bank's attitude toward monetary policy. However, since 1980, the Bank Rate has been set at 1/4 of 1% above the weekly average tender rate of 91-day Government of Canada treasury bills.

Bankers? Acceptance

Short-term promissory notes issued by banks to fund short term loans to governments or corporations.

Banking Group

A group of investment firms each of which individually assumes financial responsibility for part of an underwriting. (See Underwriting.)

Bankrupt

The legal status of an individual or a company which is unable to pay its creditors and whose assets are administered for its creditors.

Basis Point

A phrase used to describe differences in bond yields, with one basis point representing one-hundredth of a percentage point. Thus, if Bond X yields 11.50% and Bond V 11.75% the difference is 25 basis points.

Basket Clause

A clause contained in the Canadian and British Insurance Companies Act which says that the total book value of a life insurance company's investments not otherwise qualifying under the principal conditions of the Act, may not exceed 7% of the book value of the insurance company's total assets.

Bear

One who expects that the market generally or the market price of a particular security will decline. (See also Bull.)

Bear Market

A declining market.

Bearer Security

A security (stock or bond) which does not have the owner's name recorded in the books of the issuing company or on the security itself and which is payable to the holder, i.e., the possessor. (See also Registered Security.)

Beneficial Owner

The beneficial owner of shares (or other assets) is the real owner. For example, an investor may own shares which are registered in the name of a broker, trustee or bank to facilitate transfer or to preserve anonymity, but the investor would be the beneficial owner.

Best Efforts Underwriting

The underwriter agrees to use his best efforts to sell a new issue of securities, but does not guarantee to the company that any or all of the issue will be sold. The underwriter acts as an agent and does not purchase the issue as his own liability.

Bid and Asked Quotations

Bid represents the highest price prospective buyer is willing to pay; asked price is the lowest price the seller will accept. The two together are referred to as a "quotation" or "quote".

Blue Chip

An active, leading, well-seasoned, nationally known common stock with a record of continuous dividends and other strong investment qualities.

Blue Sky

A slang term for laws various Canadian provinces and U.S. states have enacted to protect the public against securities frauds. The term "blue skied" is used to indicate that a new issue has been cleared by a Securities Commission and may be distributed.

Board Lot

A regular trading unit which has uniformly been decided upon by the stock exchanges. (See also Odd Lot.)

Board Room

A centrally located room in a broker's office where registered representatives have their desks and where Errs and visiting clients watch the quotations and sales of listed stocks on special electronic "boards".

Bond

A certificate evidencing a debt on which the issuer promises to pay the holder a specified amount of interest for specified length of time, and to repay the loan on its maturity. Strictly speaking, assets are pledged as security or a bond issue, except in the case of government "bonds", but the term is often loosely used to describe any funded debt issue.

Book Value

The amount of net assets belonging to the owners of a business (or shareholders of a company) based on balance sheet values.

Bought Deal

A new issue of stocks or bonds bought from the issuer by an investment dealer, frequently acting alone, or resale to his clients usually byway of a private placement or short form prospectus. The dealer risks his own cash in the bought deal. In the event that the price has to be slashed to sell out the issue, the dealer absorbs the loss.

Broadened Base Earnings

A concept whereby the earnings per share of a company are computed to include a pro rata share of the earnings of all unconsolidated subsidiaries and associated companies.

Broker

A securities firm or individual associated with one. When acting as a broker, as in buying or selling listed stock, the broker does not own the securities himself, but acts as agent for the buyer or seller and charges a commission for these services.

Bull

One who expects that the market generally or the market price of a particular security will rise. (See also Bear.)

Bull Market

A rising market.

Buy-Ins

If a client or a broker fails to deliver securities sold to another broker within a specified number of days after the value (settlement) date, the receiving broker may "buy-in" the securities in the open market and charge the client or the delivering broker the cost of such purchases.


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