Par value


Par value

Par value, in finance and accounting, means stated value or face value. From this comes the expressions at par (at the par value), over par (over par value) and under par (under par value).

The term "par value" has several meanings depending on context and geography.

Bonds

A bond selling at par has a coupon rate such that the bond is worth an amount equivalent to its original issue value or its value upon redemption at maturity. This amount is typically $1000 per bond.

Stock

Par value stock has no relation to market value and, as a concept, is somewhat archaic. The par value of a share of stock is the value stated in the corporate charter below which shares of that class cannot be sold upon initial offering; the issuing company promised not to issue further shares below par value, so investors could be confident that no one else was receiving a more favorable issue price. Thus, par value is a nominal value of a security which is determined by an issuing company as a minimum price. This was far more important in unregulated equity markets than in the regulated markets that exist today.

Par value also has bookkeeping purposes. It allows the company to put a de minimis value for the stock on the company's financial statement.

Many common stocks issued today do not have par values; those that do (usually only in jurisdictions where par values are required by law) have extremely low par values (often the smallest unit of currency in circulation), for example a penny par value on a stock issued at USD$25/share. Most states do not allow a company to issue stock below par value.

Even in jurisdictions that permit the issue of stock with no par value, the par value of a stock may affect its tax treatment. For example, Delaware permits the issue of stock either with or without a par value, but by choosing to assign a par value, a corporation may significantly reduce its franchise tax liability.[1]

No-par stocks have "no par value" printed on their certificates. Instead of par value, some U.S. states allow no-par stocks to have a stated value, set by the board of directors of the corporation, which serves the same purpose as par value in setting the minimum legal capital that the corporation must have after paying any dividends or buying back its stock.

Also, par value still matters for a callable common stock: the call price is usually either par value or a small fixed percentage over par value.

In the United States, it is legal for a corporation to issue "watered" shares below par value. However, the purchasers of "watered" shares incur an accounting liability to the corporation for the difference between the par value and the price they paid. Today, in many jurisdictions, par values are no longer required for common stocks.

Currency

The term "at par" is also used when two currencies are exchanged at equal value (for instance, in 1964, Trinidad and Tobago switched from British West Indies dollar to the new Trinidad and Tobago dollar, and that switch was "at par", meaning that the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago replaced each old dollar with a new one).


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  • par value — n: par(a) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. par value …   Law dictionary

  • Par value — Par Par, n. [L. par, adj., equal. See {Peer} an equal.] [1913 Webster] 1. Equal value; equality of nominal and actual value; the value expressed on the face or in the words of a certificate of value, as a bond or other commercial paper. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • par value — n. the value of a stock, bond, etc. fixed at the time of its issue; face value: distinguished from MARKET VALUE * * * …   Universalium

  • par value — n. the value of a stock, bond, etc. fixed at the time of its issue; face value: distinguished from MARKET VALUE …   English World dictionary

  • par value — See par for all securities except MBSs. See par line for MBSs. American Banker Glossary Also called the maturity value or face value; the amount that an issuer agrees to pay at the maturity date. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary See …   Financial and business terms

  • Par value — Also called the maturity value or face value, the amount that the issuer agrees to pay at the maturity date. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * par value par value ➔ value1 * * *    The value that appears on the face of a document… …   Financial and business terms

  • par value — The value of an instrument for the payment of money as determined by the face of the instrument. The face value of a bond. An amount fixed as the nominal value of a share of corporate stock, such amount indicating the sum of money or value of… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Par Value — 1. The face value of a bond. 2. A dollar amount that is assigned to a security when representing the value contributed for each share in cash or goods. 1. The par values for different fixed income products will vary. Bonds generally have a par… …   Investment dictionary

  • par value — face value; = nominal value The nominal price of a share or other security. If the market value of a security exceeds the nominal price it is said to be above par; if it falls below the nominal price it is below par. Gilt edged securities are… …   Accounting dictionary

  • par value — face value; nominal value The nominal price of a share or other security. If the market value of a security exceeds the nominal price it is said to be above par; if it falls below the nominal price it is below par. Gilt edged securities are… …   Big dictionary of business and management


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