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Equity-Linked Security (ELKS)


An Equity-Linked Security (ELKS) is a type of investment product that ties its return to the performance of a specific equity, such as a stock or an equity index. It combines aspects of fixed-income and equity-based investments which provide investors with the potential for profit if the equity performs well, with some level of protection if it does not. However, the extent of both the potential profit and protection can vary across different ELKS products.


The phonetics of the keyword: Equity-Linked Security (ELKS) would be:Equity – /ˈɛkwɪti/Linked – /ˈlɪŋkt/Security – /sɪˈkjurɪti/ELKS – /ɛlks/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Equity-Linked Securities (ELKS) are marketable securities whose price is derived from, or influenced by, the price of another security or financial instrument. This linked security could be an individual stock, a basket of stocks, or an equity index.
  2. ELKS are structured products sold by banks and financial institutions. They offer buyers the potential for high yields and a defined level of risk, as they often include a certain degree of capital protection.
  3. The gains or losses incurred by the buyer of an ELK are determined by the underlying equity’s movement. That is, if the linked equity does well, the investor is likely to gain, but if the security doesn’t perform well, the investor can expect to at least partially lose their initial investment.


Equity-Linked Security (ELKS) is an important business/finance term as it refers to a type of investment product that combines aspects of fixed-income and equity investments. The importance of ELKS lies in their ability to offer investors a return that is linked to the performance of a particular equity index or individual stock. They provide the potential for high returns if the linked equity performs well, while reducing risk through a promise of a minimum return regardless of equity performance. This combination of potential high returns and limited risk makes ELKS an attractive option for investors seeking to enhance their portfolio performance and diversification strategy.


Equity-Linked Security (ELKS) serves as an innovative investment instrument that offers investors a more diverse way to increase their exposure to the equity market, while possibly mitigating some inherent market risks. Its purpose is to couple the profitability capacity of investments in equities with the relative safety of debt instruments. This makes ELKS a hybrid financial product that possesses elements characteristic of both bonds and stocks.ELKS are commonly used by investors intending to capitalize on the growth potential of equities but are somewhat reluctant about the possibility of losing their initial investment. With ELKS, you have the opportunity to gain from any appreciation in the linked equity’s value, and should the linked equity decrease in value, your initial invested capital is generally still protected, assuming you hold the security until it matures. This dynamic makes ELKS a very useful tool for investors who want equity exposure with mitigated downside risk.


1. Callable Bull/Bear Contract (CBBC) issued by Societe Generale: This product is an example of an Equity-Linked Security, where the underlying assets are either single stocks or indexes. CBBCs are a type of ELKS that offer an investor the ability to gain exposure to underlying assets without the need of full upfront investment. They can potentially allow for enhanced returns or significant losses depending on the performance of the underlying asset.2. Reverse Convertibles by Barclays Bank: Barclays has issued several equity-linked securities known as Reverse Convertibles. These instruments are debt obligations of the issuer that can be converted into shares of the underlying stock if the stock’s price falls below a certain level, often providing investors with a higher coupon rate for taking on this additional equity risk.3. Leveraged Buyout (LBO) bonds: These bonds are issued by firms who are acquiring companies predominantly with the use of borrowed money. The acquiring firm pledges the assets of the acquired company as collateral for the loan, serving as an equity-linked security. If the acquiring firm defaults, the lenders will have a claim on these assets.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Equity-Linked Security (ELKS)?

An Equity-Linked Security (ELKS) refers to an investment product that connects its investment return to the performance of a specific equity, such as a stock or equity index. It combines the features of fixed-income and equity investments.

How does an Equity-Linked Security (ELKS) work?

ELKS provide investors the ability to acquire returns linked to the performance of an equity, while providing some level of capital protection. Rates of return on ELKS rely on the performance of the underlying equity.

What are the potential benefits of investing in an Equity-Linked Security (ELKS)?

ELKS offer potential for a higher return than traditional fixed-income securities if the linked equity performs well. They also provide a certain level of principal protection. Additionally, they allow investors to gain exposure to equities that may be difficult to invest in directly.

How risky is investing in Equity-Linked Securities (ELKS)?

The risk associated with ELKS is inherently tied to the underlying equity. If the equity performs poorly, the return on the ELKS may be less than that of a traditional fixed-income investment. However, they generally provide some level of capital protection.

Can I lose money by investing in an Equity-Linked Security (ELKS)?

Yes, it’s possible. If the underlying equity performs very poorly, it could result in a lower return or even a loss. The specific level of risk can depend on the terms of the individual ELKS, including the level of capital protection offered.

What factors should I consider before investing in ELKS?

Potential investors should consider their risk tolerance, investment horizon and other investment objectives. Understanding the performance of the underlying equity and its market is also key. It’s highly recommended to seek advice from a financial advisor or professional.

Where can I buy Equity-Linked Securities (ELKS)?

ELKS can be purchased from investment banks, brokers or other financial institutions that offer structured products. As they are often over-the-counter products, they may not be available on public exchanges.

Is the interest earned on Equity-Linked Securities (ELKS) guaranteed?

No, the interest or rate of return is not guaranteed. It is closely linked with the performance of underlying equity. However, their structure often provides some level of capital protection which might guarantee the return of original investment.

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