Glossary on Trade Financing Terms - B
created by the exercise of a warrant
. Also known as a virgin bond.
Back-to-Back Letter of Credit:
A letter of credit issued for the account of a buyer of merchandise already holding a letter of credit in his favour. The back-to-back L/C is issued in favour of the supplier of the merchandise to cover the shipment stipulated in the L/C already held by the buyer. The terms of L/Cs, except for the amount and expiration date, are similar, and the same documents presented under the "back to back" L/C are subsequently used against the L/C in favour of the buyer. However, the buyer or beneficiary of the first credit, substitutes his draft and invoice for those presented by the supplier.
Back to back loan:
A loan in which two companies in different countries borrow each other's currency for a specific time period, with repayment of the other's currency at an agreed maturity. This technique allows companies to eliminate or reduce their foreign exchange risks. Also known as a Parallel loan.
A term indicating that futures prices of a commodity are lower than spot prices. If a commodity moves into backwardation the markets expect prices to fall. Opposite: Contango.
A non-performing loan i.e. a loan which is not repaid. To absorb losses arising from bad debts over a period of time, banks usually set aside provision out of their profits.
An accounting term indicating the difference between the total of all credit items and that of all debit items.
Balance of payments:
A statement which summarises all economic transactions between a country and the rest of the world during a period of time, usually a calendar year. The balance of payments is made up of the current account balance, reporting the external trade in merchandise and services (including income on investments), and the capital account, reporting direct and portfolio investments and capital flows in general.
Balance of payments deficit:
Balance of payments surplus:
Balance of trade:
The monetary difference between a country's total imports and its exports. If exports exceed imports the country experiences a favourable balance of trade. Also known as merchandise trade balance.
Balance of trade deficit/surplus:
When the value of a country's exports is lower/higher than that of its imports.
A complete double entry account statement of assets
and liabilities drawn up by an enterprise on a specific date (usually at the end of a fiscal year). Total liabilities always equal total assets. The asset side of the balance sheet provides information on the use of the company's funds. The liabilities’ side details sources of external financing (i.e. cash, money market loans and advances, etc) and the composition of the shareholders' equity. Compare with Profit and loss statement.
A loan whose repayments are not spread evenly over its life. Interest payments are accumulated and are paid along with the principal in one lump sum at the end of the loan period.
Bank(er's) Acceptance; Bank bill:
or bill of exchange whose acceptor is a bank. When accepted for payment by a bank it becomes a banker's acceptance and may be used by the drawer or payee as collateral
, or may be sold and discounted. Such an arrangement originates on the initiative of the importer, who instructs his local bank to provide for a commercial acceptance credit to the bank of the exporter. The bank of the exporter then issues an acceptance credit, in effect guaranteed by the foreign bank, to the exporter under which he may draw a time bill of exchange maturing in 60 or 90 days. Supported by the documents demonstrating the shipment, this bill of exchange is then accepted by the bank which endorses it, thus signifying that it will pay the bill at maturity. The exporter may retain the bill until maturity or sell it on the discount market. This technique is frequently utilized in the financing of foreign trade, making possible the payment of cash to an exporter covering all or a part of the value of his shipment. When the amounts involved are large and in support of commodity transactions the banker’s acceptance can be placed on the market and sold through a syndicate of banks.
A bank charge for special services (credit commission) or for risk coverage, added to the interest on loans extended to its clients.
Bank discount rate:
(1) The rate at which a bank discounts notes. A rate quoted on a discount basis understates bond equivalent yield. This difference must be calculated when comparing the return on yields on a discount basis and equivalent coupon securities.
(2) A technique of evaluating the yield of short-term non-interest-bearing money market securities to make them comparable with equivalent coupon securities.
An international transfer of funds through an instrument very similar to a cheque.
Bank for International Settlements (BIS):
An international bank based in Basel, Switzerland, serving as a forum for monetary co-operation between several European central banks, the Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve System.
A guarantee, issued by the bank of the foreign purchaser, to pay the seller/exporter up to an agreed percentage of the value of the goods shipped in case of default by the purchaser. See also Letter of credit.
Bank-issued medium-term note:
A medium-term certificate of indebtedness, issued by a bank on demand, with maturities ranging between 2 to 8 years.
A negotiable time draft
drawn on and accepted by a bank, which adds its credit and standing to that of the importer.
A bank established by consent by independent and unaffiliated banks as a clearing house for financial transactions.
This is an order from a buyer/importer to his bank to make a payment to the bank of the seller/exporter. The draft is sent to the exporter who presents it to his bank for payment. It is regarded as cash and cannot be returned unpaid. The exporter's bank in return presents it to the buyer's bank for reimbursement.
Bank for International Settlements:
The currency against whose value an exchange rate quote is made between two currencies. For example, if the French Franc is trading at 4.85 French Francs per Dollar, the Dollar would be the base currency and the French Franc the quoted currency.
Base lease term:
The underlying term of the lease used by the lessor in computing interest payments and regarded by the lessee as the minimum time period during which he will have the use and custody of the equipment.
A term indicating one hundredth of one percentage point (.01%). 100 basis points = 1%. Typically used in expressing rate or yield differentials.
An interest rate swap from one floating instrument into a non floating instrument in the same currency, undertaken to eliminate or minimize interest-rate risk.
A stock market investor pessimist who expects share prices, currency values or commodity prices to fall. Opposite: Bull.
A bond whose owner is not registered on the books of the issuer. Such bonds are held in physical form by the owner, who receives payments by physically detaching coupons from the bond certificate and handing them to the paying agent. All Eurobonds
are issued in bearer form.
Bearer mortgage note:
A mortgage debt instrument or note, issued in a bearer form. The holder of the instrument or note at any time is the creditor.
A security whose ownership belongs to whoever carries it. A bearer security is payable to its holder.
An international trade policy by a country aimed at seeking domestic gains at the expense of its trading parties (for instance through competitive devaluations
). Such a policy may lead to trade wars.
A share or a bond
whose market value is below its nominal value
or face value. A bond will be rated below par when the market interest rates are higher than at the time the bond was issued. This may also happen if investors are sceptical about the creditworthiness or future prospects of the company or government which has issued the bond. Opposite: Above par.
The person in whose favour a letter of credit, an insurance policy or any other payment instrument is issued.
Berne Union (International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers):
An association founded in 1934, gathering over 40 export credit agencies from developing and industrialised countries. The Union works for sound principles in the export credit insurance business, through the exchange of information, constant consultation and close co-operation between its members. The agencies participating in the Berne Union do so as insurers and not as representatives of their respective governments.
An indicator of the risk of a share or a portfolio in relation to the average market risk. A Beta of 0.7 implies that the yields of the share or portfolio are likely to move up or down by 70% of the average market change. A Beta of 1.2% indicates that such yields are likely to move up or down 20% more than the average market change. Beta is an index of systematic risk, i.e. risk linked to general market conditions which cannot be diversified. See also Alpha.
Bid; Buying price:
The price or the terms on which a person is willing to buy (e.g. securities, commodities, foreign exchange etc.). Opposite: Asked price
. See also Tender.
A guarantee by a party (usually a bank) on the order of the seller, to pay a part of the bid price (usually 5-10%) as compensation to the buyer should the seller, having accepted the bid by the buyer, be unwilling or unable to fulfil the tender terms and undertake the corresponding delivery or performance contract. Bid bonds are frequently used in export financing
. See also Guarantee bonds.
Bid bond coverage:
An insurance or guarantee which protects the supplier or issuing bank from the unjustified or capricious calling of the bid bond.
The lower range of interest rate quotations, i.e. the interest rate a bank is prepared to pay for deposits or to acquire securities.
Agreements reached bilaterally between a debtor country and each of the creditor countries participating in a Paris Club rescheduling. The agreements establish the legal basis of the Debt rescheduling
, as set forth in the Agreed Minute, specify the interest rate on amounts deferred or rescheduled, etc.
The date by which all of the Bilateral agreements must be concluded. The period for concluding bilateral agreements is usually around six months from the date of the Agreed Minute.
Bilateral investment treaty (BIT):
A bilateral treaty meant to ensure national or most-favoured-nation treatment for foreign investments deriving from the partner country. BITs ensure the right to make investment-related transfers and assign top managers in the foreign country without regard to their nationality. They also guarantee that expropriation takes place only in accordance with accepted international rules, and access to impartial and binding international arbitration for the settlement of disputes.
Bill for collection:
A commitment, generally by signature of the document, to honour a bill of exchange if the specified signatories fail to do so.
Bill of Exchange (Draft):
An instrument of payment frequently used in international business. It is an unconditional written order signed by the exporter and addressed to the importer to pay, on demand or at a specified future date, a stipulated monetary sum to the exporter. See also Commercial paper
, Letter of credit.
Bill of Lading (B/L):
A document setting out the terms of the contract between the exporter of the goods and the carrier, under which the freight is to be transported from the port of shipment to that of destination. The B/L serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt of goods. Its holder has the right to gain possession of the shipped goods.
There are two main types of B/L:
(1) Straight bill of lading: A non-negotiable B/L, under which the goods are handed directly to the stipulated consignee.
(2) Negotiable or Shipper's order bill of lading: This can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in transit, or used to support a Letter of credit transaction. To take possession of the shipped goods, the final holder of the B/L needs the original or a copy as proof of ownership.
Prolonging the validity of a bill by postponing its expiry date.
A temporary insurance coverage pending the later issuance of an insurance policy or certificate.
Transactions of goods and services which are not declared for tax payment and which neither show up in trade statistics nor are taken into account in the calculation of the Gross National Product (GNP).
A general term to indicate an unofficial, parallel market. For instance, foreign exchange black markets typically flourish in those countries where the local currency is kept artificially higher than its real value.
A draft passed on by the drawer without all the details having been filled in. The recipient of the blank draft is entitled to fill out the draft himself, unless otherwise specified in the document, with the liability remaining with the drawer.
The assignment of the totality of the debtor's present and future claims to third parties.
Blanket credit line:
A fixed amount credit line established for a borrower, i.e. the amount of outstanding credit which may not be exceeded at any time. Such credit lines can be established for corporate borrowers or countries.
Blended Interest Rate:
The effective cost of funds from all lenders, weighted for the amounts provided by each and calculated for the period of time and the interest rate applied by each lender. Additional charges such as commitment
and guarantee fees may be also included in this calculation.
A general credit available in an open-ended lending arrangement available for a specified time period. e.g. a credit line, agreed between an importing and an exporting country, for the extension of long-term export financing or investment loans.
A currency which is not freely convertible into other currencies because of government restrictions and regulations. There are generally considered to be three categories of currency: convertible, semi-convertible and non-convertible. The term Blocked currency refers to the latter two categories.
Shares which have the highest quality ranking as investments, as they carry a lower risk of earnings failure, dividend omissions or bankruptcy of the companies of which they represent a "share", compared with other shares traded on the market. Blue chip status is normally assigned to the shares of large, well-established and creditworthy companies. The word originally meant a diamond chip.
A financial security, bearing a fixed interest rate, issued by private businesses or governments as a means of raising money and long-term funds (i.e. borrowing). When an investor buys bonds, he is lending money to the issuer. Bonds are typically issued for periods of several years, usually with fixed nominal interest rate coupons
attached to them in bearer
form. Bonds may be bought and sold at any time on the secondary market
before they are finally redeemed
, i.e. repaid at maturity by their issuer.
The holder of the issuer's bonds. In the event of liquidation of a private company, bondholders have priority over shareholders.
A firm whose primary activity is the business of underwriting, distributing and dealing in bonds.
A means of borrowing funds through the issue of fixed-interest, medium-to long-term, securities. Bonds are offered for public subscription during a specified period (subscription period). See also Public offer.
A general term indicating obstacles to free convertibility (for example, of currencies).
A warehouse authorized by customs authorities for the storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are collected.
The value at which assets are reported in a business' financial statements and books of account. Usually, fixed assets are shown at cost less normal depreciation
(net book value) while inventories may be considered at cost or market, whichever is lower. The book value of an asset might be more or less than its market value.
Boom; Bull market:
A significant increase in prices or rates, especially in connection with stock, bond or foreign exchange markets. Opposite: Downturn; slump.
A written unconditional promise to pay a sum of money at some future date to a named party, on order or on demand.
Bonds issued by emerging countries under a debt reduction plan.
An economic entity in a foreign country, incorporated in the home country.
The level at which all the costs sustained are covered. For example, the level of sales at which a project would make zero profit.
Interim (temporary) financing provided in an export financing transaction. This financing is subsequently replaced by longer term ECA supported financing.
Interest payments, accrued since the last due interest date up to a specified date and prior the next due interest date.
An intermediary engaged in trading in a variety of financial instruments, such as foreign exchange, equities, commodities, etc. He executes his clients' orders and charges a fee or commission for the services rendered. Brokers play an important role on the financial markets by bringing together buyers and sellers. Compare with Dealer.
A term indicating a situation where the prices of securities move significantly above their true values.
Buffer stock system:
A method of stabilizing and regulating commodity prices. When a commodity's price falls, buffer stock managers buy it in large quantities in order to steady prices. Purchases are stored in order to be sold off once the price is high again. Stock managers may also hold certain quantities of a commodity in order to meet future unforeseen supply delays, disruptions or unexpected increases in demand. See also Net buyer range
and Net seller range.
A project financing approach which has become very fashionable in recent years. Under a BOT, a government grants the project sponsor a temporary or permanent license to deliver a particular service. Such a license is generally sufficient for the sponsors to raise the necessary funds on a project basis. At the end of the license period granted to a company specifically set up for that purpose, the license or the ownership of the licensed project is handed over to the host government free of charge or at a pre-agreed price.
A market optimist who buys shares, currency, commodities or other traded assets on the expectation that their value will rise, so that he can sell them later at a profit. Opposite: Bear.
A bond where the repayment of the principal is linked to the market price of another security. Such a bond is issued in two tranches: repayments in the first tranche increase with the price of the reference security, while those in the second tranche decrease with the price of the other security.
Bonds issued by foreign borrowers in pounds sterling. Also known as Bulldogs.
Bonds with a fixed maturity which may neither be called nor amortized early by the borrower.
A bank loan or syndicated loan with no amortization, i.e. for which no sinking fund is set up. The borrower pays only interest throughout the life of the loan and at maturity the loan is repaid in a lump sum.
A cycle of periodic and repetitive economic expansion and recession.
"Buy Back" deals/Compensation:
Buyer of an option:
A financial arrangement by which a bank, financial institution or export credit agency in the country of the exporter extends a loan, either directly to the foreign buyer of the exported goods, or indirectly through a bank in the buyer's country acting on his behalf. The credit is thus meant to enable the buyer/importer to make payments due to the supplier/exporter under the contract. It is typically a medium-to long-term loan. Compare with Suppliers' credit.
The right of a buyer to modify within a specified period of time one or more of the terms of the contract, as agreed in advance (e.g. purchased quantities, port of discharge, delivery lot size, date of delivery, etc.).
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