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


National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system.


In a head and shoulders pattern it is a line drawn across the two reaction lows (top), or two reaction highs (bottom) which occur before and after the head.

Negative divergence

When two or more averages, indicies or indicators fail to show confirming trends.

Net asset value per share

Value per share arrived at by dividing the net assets of a company, after deduction of all prior charges, by the number of ordinary shares issued. This figure is normally adjusted for the premium or discount of the market value of investments on their book value.

Net current assets

A balance sheet item showing the difference between current assets and current liabilities. In most healthy companies, this difference will be positive, so that the company is always able to meet its short-term creditors from its short-term assets.

Net earnings per share after tax

Taxed profit less preference and minority shareholders' interest, divided by the number of ordinary shares issued.

Net Exposure

Your net exposure is the sum of the nominal value of your current positions converted into the base currency of your account. For Forex, this is the total value of all your Forex positions converted to the base currency of your account.

Net income

Also referred to as Net Profit or Net Earnings. The earnings of an organisation after deducting taxation and all other expenses. This is obviously an important measure of a company's performance, but you should remember to allow for the inflation rate when comparing one year's net income with another's.

Net Operating income

The profit of the company before the appropriations detailed in the income statement. Most income statements begin with a statement of the company's turnover, which is not arithmetically related to the rest of the income statement. The next figure is net operating income from which the interest paid extraordinary items, taxation, transfer to reserve, preference and ordinary dividends are subtracted to arrive at the retained income for the year.

New issue

Initial issue of shares in a company by a public offer, a private placing, a tender bid or an exchange of shares for those of one or more other companies.

Nil Paid Letters

A security which is temporarily listed on the stock exchange and which represents the right to take up the shares of a certain company at a certain price and on a certain date. Nil paid letters are the result of a rights issue to the existing shareholders (or debenture holders) of a company. A rights issue is one way of raising additional capital by offering existing shareholders the opportunity to take up more shares in the company - usually at a price well below the market price of the shares. These rights are represented by the "nil paid letter" and are renounceable - this means that they may be bought and sold on the stock exchange.

Nominal or par value of shares

Value given to shares when they are created. It has nothing to do with the true value of shares and need bear no relationship to the market price.


A company formed for the specific purpose of registering securities in its own name on behalf of other persons, and administering those holdings

Non-Distributable Reserve

That portion of accumulated shareholders' equity, which may not be distributed in the form of dividends. Legislation worldwide is at considerable pains to maintain the share capital (or asset base) of a company and to prevent minority shareholders from being defrauded by the majority. Because of this, the shareholders' equity is clearly divided into two main areas - contributed (or paid-in) equity and accumulated equity.

Non-margin position

The current market value of any securities (for example, equities, bonds, and so on) held as collateral for margin requirements. The market value is calculated using bid price.

Non-resident shareholder's tax

Tax deducted by the company on behalf of the government from dividends paid to non-resident shareholders.

Non-voting shares

Shares without voting rights.

Not available as margin collateral

A percentage of your current investments that is not available as margin collateral. This line states the amount that is not available as margin collateral.

Notes to the Accounts

These form part of the annual financial statements of a company. They supply more information on the figures contained in the financial accounts. It is very important to consider these notes carefully before buying the shares of the company. They often contain important information, which the company has preferred to show as a note rather than in the balance sheet, income statement or flow of funds statements. For example, any change in accounting policies is contained in the first note, and these can be very important to the final profit or loss picture. Other items, which are covered, is a breakdown of investments into listed and unlisted, director's emoluments, a breakdown of fixed assets, auditors' fees, details of borrowings and so on.