Our comprehensive glossary explains many of the terms commonly used in the international markets.

Earnings per share (EPS)

The EPS is the company's profit divided by the number of its outstanding shares. If a company earns USD 10 million in one year and has 10 million shares in issue, its EPS would be USD 1 per share. Companies often use a weighted average of shares outstanding over the reporting term when calculating EPS.

Earnings Yield (EY)

Earnings per share expressed as a percentage of the current market price of the share. For example, a company with 25 cents earnings per share and a market price of 250 cents would have an earnings yield of 10%.

Electronic Scrip Register

The electronic record which evidences the rights of owners to securities in a dematerialised market.


A financial instrument that represents partial ownership of a company. Known as Stocks, equities, or shares.


That portion of share capital which carries risk, and shares in profits through dividends that are dependent on profitability. Ordinary shares are often called equity shares, and other types of shares, which carry less risk as convertible or participating preference shares are known as "near-equity". Equity is the share capital and reserves of the company - which is the same as its net assets (net of liabilities). You should be careful because in many instances, the book value of assets such as stock and real estate is very different from the market value.

Equity share capital or equity shareholders' funds

Funds invested in a company plus the profits, which have been ploughed back.

European style

An option that is only exercisable at expiry.

Ex dividend/rights

Market quotation, which excludes participation in the current dividend/ rights.


A market where securities, Options, Futures and/or commodities are traded.

Exchange control

Regulations governing the movement of non-domestic currency across borders, often affecting the ability of individuals to trade in instruments denominated in non-domestic currency.

Exchange rate

What one currency is worth in terms of another. For example, one Argentine dollar might be worth 58 US cents or 70 Japanese yen. Countries can determine their exchange rates in several ways: A floating exchange rate system, where the currency finds its own level in the market. A crawling or flexible peg system, which is a combination of an officially fixed rate and frequent small adjustments. A fixed exchange-rate system, where the value of the currency is set by the government and/or the central bank.

Exchange Traded

The generic term used to describe futures, options and other derivative instruments traded on an organised exchange.


The act by which the buyer/holder of an option takes up his rights to buy or sell the underlying instrument at the Strike price.

Exercise price

The price at which the underlying asset will be bought or sold if the holder exercises the option. Also called the Strike price.

Exhaustion gap

A price gap that occurs at the end of an important trend, and signals that the trend is concluding.

Expiry, Expiration date, Maturity date

The date and time when a transaction matures. Most commonly used to describe when the holder of an option ceases to have any rights under the contract, or when a futures contract ceases trading.


The degree to which a portfolio or other investment is susceptible to risk from certain factors. For example, a share in a company whose main business is importing would be highly "exposed" to the Rand/Dollar exchange rate.

Exposure coverage

The percentage of the exposure covered by funds available for margin.