HSBC Personal

  • Log on

At best order

An order to be executed at the best currently available price on the stock market.

Basket

A pre-defined group of securities.

Bear

An investor who sells a security in the hope of buying it back at a lower price, as he thinks the market will go down. A bear market is a falling market in which bears would prosper.

Bid price

The price at which customers can redeem their mutual fund units or shares (also known as the redemption price).

Blue Chip

A large well-established company, usually quoted on the Athens General Index.

Bonds

Debt securities which generally entitle the holder to a fixed-rate of interest during their life and repayment of the amount of the bond at maturity.

Broker/dealer

An Exchange member firm, which provides advice and/or dealing services to the public and can deal on its own account.

Bull

An investor who buys a security in the hope of selling it at a higher price, as he thinks the market will go up. A bull market is a rising market in which bulls would prosper.

Capital growth

Where the price of the shares you bought rises in value - in other words, selling them would result in you having more capital than you had when you originally purchased them.

Capitalisation issue

An issue whereby funds from a company's reserves are converted into shares which are issued free of charge to the company's shareholders.

Dividend

That part of a company's profits after tax which is distributed to shareholders.

Equity

The risk-sharing part of a company's capital, usually made up of ordinary shares.

Eurobond

An interest-bearing security issued across national borders, often in a currency other than that of the issuer's home country.

Fixed interest securities

Securities issued by a company, government or local authority, where the amount of interest to be paid each year is set on issue.

Flotation

When a company's shares are admitted to trading on the Exchange.

Futures

A futures contract is a contract to buy or sell securities or other goods at a future date at a pre-determined price.

Income tax

Tax payable on income - for example on dividends relating to your shareholdings.

Inheritance tax

Tax payable on the estate of a deceased person.

Investment trust

A collective investment fund in the form of a listed company which holds a portfolio of securities on behalf of its own shareholders. Because of an investment trust is itself a listed company, its shares can be bought and sold in the usual way.

Limit order

An order to be executed at a specified price.

Liquidity

Ease with which a security can be traded on the market.

Listed company

A company whose securities have been admitted to the main market.

Market maker

An Exchange member firm which is obliged to offer to buy and sell securities in which it is registered throughout the mandatory quote period.

Member firm

An investment firm which is a member of the Exchange and which may deal in securities on the Exchange's market on behalf of its clients, or on behalf of the firm itself.

Mutual Fund

A collective investment scheme handled by a mutual fund management company. This investment, which is divided into units, is valued daily so that anyone interested in participating or in buying a mutual fund, can correspondingly buy or sell units.

New issue

An issue of shares when a company comes to the market for the first time - or issues extra shares.

Offer price

The price at which customers can purchase units or shares (also known as the selling price).

Offer for sale

A method of bringing a company to the market. The public can apply for shares directly at a fixed price.

Option

The right (but not the obligation) to buy or sell securities at a fixed price within a specified period.

Ordinary shares

The most common form of share. Holders may receive dividends in line with the company's profitability and recommendation of its directors.

Portfolio

A collection of securities owned by an investor.

Preference shares

Normally fixed-income shares whose holders have the right to receive dividends before ordinary shareholders. If a company were to go into liquidation, preference shareholders would rank above ordinary shareholders for the repayment of their investment in the company.

Price/Earnings ratio (P/E ratio)

The P/E ratio is a measure of the level of confidence investors have in a company (rightly or wrongly). Generally, the higher the figure, the higher the confidence. It is calculated by dividing the current share price by the last published earnings per share - where earnings per share is net profit divided by the number of ordinary shares.

Price sensitive information

Information which, if made public, is likely to have a significant effect on the price of a company's securities.

Primary market

The function of a stock exchange in bringing securities to the market for the first time. Money is raised either for the owners before flotation of the company or to fund future growth.

Private company

A company which is not a public company and which is not allowed to offer its shares to the general public.

Privatisation

Conversion of a state-run company to public limited company status - often accompanied by a sale of its shares to the public.

Prospectus

An information booklet detailing information on the company, its accounts and directors, and the securities to be listed, as required in the Exchange's listing rules.

Redemption price

The price at which customers can redeem their units or shares (also known as the bid price).

Registrar

An organisation responsible for maintaining a company's share register.

Rights issue

An invitation to existing shareholders to purchase additional shares in the company.

Secondary market

Marketplace for trading in securities.

Securities

General name for stocks and shares of all types.

Selling price

The price at which customers can purchase units in a mutual fund or shares (also known as the offer price).

Settlement

The process of transferring stock from seller to buyer and arranging the corresponding movement of money between the two parties.

Shares

See Ordinary Shares, Preference Shares, Securities.

Stockbroker

An Exchange member firm which provides advice and dealing services to the public and which can deal on its own accounts.

Underwriting

An arrangement by which a company is guaranteed that an issue of shares will raise a given amount of cash. Underwriters undertake to subscribe for any of the issue not taken up by the public. They charge commission for this service.

Units

To invest in a mutual fund you purchase units of that fund. The number of units you can purchase depends on the amount you have to invest and the unit price.

Unit price

The value of the mutual fund is divided by the number of units in the fund to establish the unit price at which customers can purchase units. (HSBC releases daily on its website the unit prices on of the funds that it distributes.

Warrants

Securities giving the holder a right to subscribe to a share or a bond at a given price and from a certain date.

Yield

The return earned on an investment taking into account the annual income and its present capital value. There are a number of different types of yield, and in some cases different methods of calculating each type.