Term sheets – glossary of terms

15/03/2018

| 15-03-2018 | treasuryXL |

Whenever entering into transactions with banks, both parties need to know and understand what they are trading. A relatively simple transaction like a FX spot has few terms – you buy one currency against selling another currency at an agreed rate and an agreed settlement date. The only other major factor relates to where the settlement has to take place – on what bank account are you receiving and to what bank account do you have to pay the counter currency.

However, when entering into a loan or derivative it is always prudent to draw up a term sheet stating all the relevant criteria to enable the bank to quote a price. Once the trade is effected, then a confirmation is sent which should have the same terms and conditions as the term sheet. Here is a list of terms that are regularly used and their meaning. They mostly apply to physical products as well as to derivatives.

American Option – an option that can be exercised on any working day until the expiration date

Bermudan Option – an option that can be exercised on more than one specified date before the expiration date

European Option – an option that can only be exercised on the expiration date

Binary Option – an option whose payoff is either an agreed amount (monetary or asset) or nothing at all

Call Option – The right, but not the obligation, to purchase a specified underlying asset, at a specified price (Strike price) on a specified date in the future

Put Option – The right, but not the obligation, to sell a specified underlying asset, at a specified price (Strike price) on a specified date in the future

Cap – an option that pays out when a specified interest rate price exceeds a pre-agreed level (Strike price)

Floor – an option that pays out when a specified interest rate price falls below a pre-agreed level (Strike price)

Collar – the simultaneous purchase of a Cap and sale of a Floor on the same specified interest rate for the same nominal amount, protecting the purchaser from rate rises whilst negating the cost of the option by selling the Floor

Strike price – the price (level) at which an option holder can exercise their rights under the agreed option

Premium – the cost of buying an option

Trade date – the date when the specifications of a contract are transacted

Effective date – the start date of a contract

Termination date – the end date of a contract

Payment date – the date on which a payment is made

Fixing date – the date on which a floating rate is set/fixed

Forward start – a contract agreed on a trade date, that becomes effective on a specified future date

Tenor – the length of time that a contract is valid

Reference rate – the specified interest rate (or FX spot)  index upon which future cash flows are based

Fixed rate – an agreed interest rate that cannot vary over the lifetime of the contract

Float rate – an agreed index rate that can be periodically reset over the lifetime of the contract

Derivative – a financial instrument that derives its value from the value of an underlying asset

Break clause – a clause written into the contract, that releases both parties from the contract in the event of a pre-agreed relevant event taking place

If you are interested to know what the effect of these terms can have on a contract, please contact us for more detailed information.

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