Glossary of Terms

  • S&P 500

    Standard & Poors Composite Index - an index comprising shares of 500 US companies reflecting the general trend in the US stock market.
  • Scheme of Arrangement

    A non-optional event proposed by a company on its share capital.
  • Scrip Issue

    See Bonus Issue.
  • SEAQ

    The Stock Exchange Automated Quotation system is a system for trading mid-cap London Stock Exchange (LSE) stocks. Stocks need to have at least two market-makers to be eligible for trading via SEAQ.
  • Securities

    Tradeable financial instruments such as equities and bonds.
  • Security Suspended

    This security has been suspended from trading by the Exchange.
  • SEDOL

    Stock Exchange Daily Official List code, a 7 digit alphanumeric reference for a listed security.
  • Stock Exchange Electronic Trading Service (SETS)

    Is the way in which FTSE 100 and other highly rated shares are bought and sold. Firms need to be authorised to place orders on the SETS order book, where buy orders are automatically matched to sale orders. If there's no match available immediately, then the trade stays on the order book until it can be completed. The SETS system is fully switched on between 8am and 4:30pm, so continuous matching happens during these times.
  • SETSmm

    Is a hybrid electronic trading system, which gives the options of trading through market makers, or directly entering orders on the order book. The introduction of SETSmm has revolutionised the trading of FTSE mid and small cap companies, due to tighter spreads, greater liquidity and a growth in the overall size of the market.
  • SETSqx

    Is a trading platform for securities that are less liquid than those which trade on SETS.
  • Settlement Date

    Once a sale or purchase of shares has been agreed, arrangements need to be made for it to settle. This process involves organising payment for purchases, or receiving shares for sales and delivering them to the respective parties.
  • Shares

    Are also referred to as stocks or equities. They represent ownership in a company.
  • Sharegift

    Sharegift allows you to donate shares that are of little or no value to charity free of charge.
  • Shareholder

    The owner of a share in a company.
  • Shorting

    Shorting a stock or 'going short' is the selling of something not owned. Speculators go short if they think the price of the underlying instrument is likely to decrease.
  • Spread

    The difference between the buying price and the selling price.
  • Spread Betting

    Spread Betting is a way of trading on a financial instrument such as a share or a commodity without physically owning it. This involves betting on the price movement of the share, index, commodity or bond. As is is structured as a bet, any gains are exempt from capital gains tax.
  • Stamp Duty

    Is a type of UK tax paid when buying certificated shares. It's currently 0.5% of the Consideration for UK shares, and 1% for Irish shares. This charge is rounded up to the nearest £5 when you buy Residual Shares.

  • Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)

    Is charged when there's no physical transfer document; when shares are traded electronically. When buying certificated shares this tax is known as Stamp Duty instead. Like Stamp Duty, SDRT is calculated as 0.5% of the consideration for UK shares, and 1% for Irish shares, only this time rounded up to the nearest penny.
  • Stockbroker

    A securities firm which provides advice and dealing services to the public.
  • Stock

    Stock is ownership, or equity, in a company. Investors buy stock in the form of shares, which represent a portion of a company's assets and earnings (capital).
  • Stop Loss Order

    A stop-loss is an order which is placed at a price below the current price trading in the market. If the price hits the stop-loss limit your order will be triggered and traded at the best available price.
  • Structured Products

    These are products based on derivatives that are linked to the performance of an index, commodity or other asset class, for a fixed period. Depending on the provider of the product, your initial investment may be partly or fully protected if held till maturity. There is still, however, counterparty risk to consider as well as the dividends, which are usually foregone.
  • Subdivision

    This corporate action increases the number of issued shares and the nominal value decreases. For example, one ordinary £1 share is split into five ordinary 20p shares. A company may decide to do this if their share price was high, and they wanted to increase their attractiveness to investors. The subdivision will reduce the price at which the shares can be bought or sold, and may therefore encourage trading.

  • Suspension of trading

    Any cessation of trading imposed by the Exchange, including a trading halt.