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Face Value


Face value, also known as par value or nominal value, is the value of a financial instrument as stated on the instrument itself, typically a bond or stock. It represents the principal amount that a bondholder will be repaid at maturity or the base price of a share of stock. This value does not necessarily indicate the instrument’s current market value or purchase price.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Face Value” is: /feɪs ˈvæljuː/

Key Takeaways

  1. Face Value is the nominal worth of a financial instrument such as currency or a stock. It is the amount stated on the instrument itself, regardless of the market conditions or its actual market value.
  2. It plays a crucial role in bonds and other fixed-income securities, where the face value serves as the basis for calculating interest payments. For example, a bond with a face value of $1,000 and an annual interest rate of 5% will pay an interest of $50 per year.
  3. In stock markets, face value is less significant, as the market value of shares often differs significantly from their face value. However, the face value still serves as a reference for a company’s authorized share capital and is used in calculating dividends in some cases.


Face value is important in the business and finance world as it denotes the nominal value of a financial instrument, such as a bond, stock, or currency, as stated by its issuer. It serves as the basis for calculating interest and dividend payments, as well as the instrument’s final redemption value. In addition, face value is often required to be disclosed on financial statements as it helps investors and analysts determine the worth and risk associated with these instruments. This allows for better financial decision-making, as it provides valuable insights into the issuer’s creditworthiness, potential return on investment, and the overall stability of the market.


The purpose of face value in finance and business is to serve as a key reference point for various types of financial instruments, ranging from bonds to shares. It is notable for being the principal amount that is repaid to an investor when a bond matures or the value that serves as a basis for dividends when it comes to stocks. By providing this fundamental parameter, face value allows investors, traders, and other market participants to determine important aspects related to the valuation and pricing of a security, which in turn can influence crucial decision-making processes, such as buying, selling, or holding an investment. In bond markets, face value plays an instrumental role in evaluating the overall returns, particularly in terms of the interest payments that accrue over the bond’s tenure. Here, the issuer is obligated to pay periodic interest (known as coupon payments) calculated based upon the bond’s face value and its coupon rate. It also helps investors compare different bonds and perceive the relative risk, thereby aiding in the selection of the most suitable investments. Similarly, for equities, the face value is used in calculating key financial ratios and metrics such as earnings per share (EPS) and price-to-earnings (PE) ratio, which are valuable tools for both investors and analysts in deciding the attractiveness and performance of a share. Ultimately, face value serves as a foundation to establish the basis for evaluation and comparison of various financial instruments across the dynamic landscape of the finance and business world.


Face value, also known as par value or nominal value, refers to the original value of a financial instrument, such as stocks or bonds, as determined by its issuer. 1. Coupon Bonds: A government or corporation may issue coupon bonds with a face value of $1,000 to raise funds for a project. The bondholder will receive fixed interest payments based on the bond’s coupon rate until the bond’s maturity date. At maturity, the bondholder is paid the bond’s face value, in this case, $1,000. 2. Stocks: For example, a company may issue shares of common stock with a face value of $0.01 per share during its initial public offering (IPO). This face value represents the minimum price at which the stock can be traded. Over time, the market price of the stock may increase or decrease based on the company’s performance and market demand. However, the face value remains the same. 3. Treasury Bills: The U.S. government issues Treasury bills (T-bills) as short-term debt instruments to finance public spending. T-bills are issued at a discount to their face value. For instance, an investor might purchase a 90-day T-bill with a face value of $10,000 for a discounted price of $9,900. When the T-bill matures, the investor will receive the full face value of $10,000, earning a profit of $100.In each of these cases, the face value represents either the initial value assigned to the financial instrument by its issuer or the amount the issuer agrees to pay to the holder upon maturity.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Face Value?
Face Value, also known as par value or nominal value, is the monetary value assigned by the issuer to a security or financial instrument, such as a bond or a stock. This value is displayed on the certificate or instrument and is indicative of the amount to be repaid to the investor when the security matures.
How is Face Value different from Market Value?
Market Value is the current price at which a security is being traded in the market. Face Value, on the other hand, is a fixed value assigned by the issuer at the time of issuance. While Face Value remains static, the Market Value can fluctuate due to factors like market demand, economic conditions, and the issuer’s financial performance.
Does Face Value affect the interest rate or dividend amount?
Yes, the interest rate for bonds and dividend amount for stocks is generally calculated as a percentage of the Face Value. For example, if the Face Value of a bond is $1,000 with a 5% interest rate, the investor will receive an annual interest of $50 (5% of $1,000).
Can Face Value change over time?
Face Value typically remains constant throughout the life of a financial instrument. However, in certain cases, such as stock splits or consolidations, the Face Value of stocks may change to maintain a constant proportion with the total value of outstanding stocks.
Is Face Value important for investors?
Face Value is an essential consideration for investors, particularly in fixed-income securities like bonds. It determines the interest amount received and the principal amount to be repaid at maturity. For stocks, Face Value is less important, as dividends and stock prices are primarily influenced by other factors such as earnings and growth prospects.
What is a premium or discount in relation to Face Value?
When a financial instrument is traded above its Face Value, it is said to be trading at a premium. Conversely, if the instrument is traded below its Face Value, it is considered to be trading at a discount. The difference between the Face Value and the Market Value determines the premium or discount.

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