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The Probert Encyclopaedia of Money

A SHARES

A shares are ordinary shares in a company that usually do not carry voting rights. Non-voting shares are issued by a company when it wishes to raise additional capital without committing itself to a fixed dividend and without diluting control of the company. They are, however, unpopular with institutional investors (who like to have a measure of control with their investments) and are therefore now rarely issued.
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A1

A1 is a description of property or a person that is in the best condition. In marine insurance, before a vessel can be insured, it has to be inspected to check its condition. If it is 'maintained in good and efficient condition' it will be shown in Lloyd's Register of Shipping as 'A' and if the anchor moorings are in the same condition the number '1' is added. This description is also used in life assurance, in which premiums are largely based on the person's health. After a medical examination a person in perfect health is described as 'an A1 life'.
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ABANDONMENT

Abandonment is the act of giving up the ownership of something covered by an insurance policy and treating it as if it has been completely lost or destroyed. If the insurers agree to abandonment, they will pay a total- loss claim. This often occurs in marine insurance if a vessel has run aground in hazardous waters and the cost of recovering it would be higher than its total value and the value of its cargo. It also occurs during wartime when a vessel is captured by the enemy. If the owner wishes to declare a vessel and its cargo a total loss, he gives the insurer a notice of abandonment; if, subsequently, the vessel or its cargo are recovered, they become the property of the insurer.
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ABASSI

The abassi was a former silver coin of Persia.
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ABILITY-TO-PAY TAXATION

Ability-to-pay taxation is a form of taxation in which taxes are levied on the basis of the taxpayers' ability to pay. This form of taxation leads to the view that as income or wealth increases, its marginal utility decreases so that progressive rates of tax can be levied on the higher slices. Typical taxes of this sort in Britain are income tax and inheritance tax.
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ABOVE-THE-LINE

In business, above-the-line denotes entries above the horizontal line on a company's profit and loss account that separates the entries that establish the profit (or loss) from the entries that show how the profit is distributed.
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ABSENTEE TAX

Absentee Tax was a tax of four shillings in the pound levied in Ireland in 1715 on the incomes and pensions of absentees. It was long complained of and was abolished in 1753. A tax of two shillings in the pound was proposed in 1773 by Flood and in 1783 by Molyneux, but neither attempt to reinstate the tax were successful.
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ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE

Absolute advantage is the relative efficiency of an individual or group of individuals in an economic activity, compared to another individual or group. Adam Smith proposed, in the 18th century, that free trade would be beneficial if countries specialized in activities in which they possessed an absolute advantage. While this may be true, it was superseded by the theory of comparative advantage of David Ricardo, which showed that even if an individual or group (a country, say) possesses an absolute advantage in all activities, there could still be gains from trade.
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ABSORPTION COSTING

Absorption costing is the process of costing products or activities by taking into account the total costs incurred in producing the product or service, however remote. This method of costing ensures that full costs are recovered provided that goods or services can always be sold at the price implied by full-cost pricing.
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ABSTRACT OF TITLE

In business, the abstract of title is a document used in conveyancing land that is not registered to show how the vendor derived good title. It consists of a summary of certain documents, such as conveyances of the land, and recitals of certain events, such as marriages and deaths of previous owners. The purchaser will check the abstract against title deeds, grants of probate, etc. This document is not needed when registered land is being conveyed, as the land certificate shows good title.
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ACAS

ACAS (Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is a British government body that was set up in 1975 to mediate in industrial disputes in both the public and private sectors. Its findings are not binding on either side, but carry considerable weight with the government. It consists of a panel of ten members, three each appointed by the TUC and the CBI, who elect three academics and an independent chairman. It does not, itself, carry out arbitrations but may recommend an arbitration to be held by other bodies.
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ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION

In business, accelerated depreciation is a basis for a form of tax relief that was available in Britain until 1984 and that enabled certain assets of a business organization to be deemed to waste away at a rate faster than that applicable to their normal useful lives. This gave tax relief earlier than would otherwise have been the case and therefore gave some incentive to businesses to invest in assets for which accelerated depreciation was a permitted basis upon which to calculate tax liability.
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ACCELERATOR THEORY

In business, the accelerator theory is the theory that the level of investment is proportional to the output of an economy. Based on the observation that investment tends to fluctuate more than the rate of growth of the economy, the theory played a major role in early Keynesian models of the economy. However, it is not clear that there is a fixed capital-output ratio for an economy; investment decisions are based on a variety of factors, such as interest rates, business confidence, and profitability. The accelerator theory fails to provide an adequate account of these factors.
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ACCEPTANCE CREDIT

Acceptance credit is a means of financing the sale of goods, particularly in international trade. It involves a commercial bank or merchant bank extending credit to a foreign importer, whom it deems creditworthy. An acceptance credit is opened against which the exporter can draw a bill of exchange. Once accepted by the bank, the bill can be discounted on the money market or allowed to run to maturity.
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ACCEPTANCE SUPRA PROTEST

Acceptance supra protest (acceptance for honour) is a business term for the acceptance or payment of a bill of exchange, after it has been dishonoured, by a person wishing to save the honour of the drawer or an endorser of the bill.
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ACCEPTING HOUSE

An accepting house (also known as an acceptance house) is a British institution specializing in accepting or guaranteeing bills of exchange. A service fee is charged for guaranteeing payment, enabling the bill to be discounted at preferential rates on the money market. The decline in the use of bills of exchange has forced the accepting houses to widen their financial activities, many of whom have returned to their original function of merchant banking.
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ACCEPTING HOUSES COMMITTEE

The Accepting Houses Committee is a committee representing the 16 accepting houses in the City of London. Members of the committee are eligible for finer discounts on bills bought by the Bank of England, although this privilege has been extended to other banks.
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ACCIDENT INSURANCE

Accident insurance is an insurance policy that pays a specified amount of money to the policyholder in the event of the loss of one or more eyes or limbs in any type of accident. It also pays a sum to the dependants of the policyholder in the event of his or her death. These policies first appeared in the early days of railway travel, when passengers felt a train journey was hazardous and they needed some protection for their dependants if they were to be killed or injured.
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ACCOMMODATION BILL

In business, an accommodation bill is a bill of exchange signed by a person (the accommodation party) who acts as a guarantor. He is liable for the bill should the acceptor fail to pay at maturity. Accommodation bills are sometimes known as windbills, kites or windmills.
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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION

Accord and satisfaction is a business device enabling one party to a contract to avoid an obligation that arises under the contract, provided that the other party agrees. The accord is the agreement by which the contractual obligation is discharged and the satisfaction is the consideration making the agreement legally operative. Such an agreement only discharges the contractual obligation if it is accompanied by consideration. For example, under a contract of sale the seller of goods may discharge his contractual obligation by delivering goods of different quality to that specified in the contract, provided there is agreement with the buyer (the accord) and he offers a reduction in the contract price (the satisfaction). The seller has therefore 'purchased' his release from the obligation. Accord and satisfaction refer to the discharge of an obligation arising under the law of tort.
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ACCOUNT DAY

Account day (settlement day) is the day on which all transactions made during the previous account on the London Stock Exchange must be settled. It falls on a Monday, ten days after the account ends.
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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

The account executive is the person in an advertising, marketing, or public- relations agency responsible for implementing a client's business. This involves carrying out the programme agreed between the agency and client, coordinating the activities, and liasing with the client.
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ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT GROUP

An account management group is a group within an advertising, marketing, or public-relations agency responsible for planning, supervising, and coordinating all the work done on behalf of a client. In large agencies handling large accounts the group might consist of an account director, account manager, account or media planner, and account executive.
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ACCOUNT OF PROFITS

Account of profits is a legal remedy available as an alternative to damages in certain circumstances, especially in breach of copyright cases. The person whose copyright has been breached sues the person who breached it for a sum of money equal to the gain he has made as a result of the breach.
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ACCOUNT PAYEE

In business, account payee are the words used in crossing a cheque to ensure that the cheque is paid into the bank account of the payee only. However, it does not affect the negotiability of the cheque.
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ACCOUNTANT

An accountant is a person trained to keep books of account, which record all the financial transactions of a business or other organization, and to prepare periodic accounts. The accounts normally consist of a balance sheet; a profit and loss account, or in the case of a non-trading organization, an income and expenditure account; and sometimes a statement of sources and application of funds. Other roles of accountants are to audit the accounts of organizations and to give advice on taxation and other financial matters. Qualified accountants are normally members of one of several professional bodies to which they gain admission through a period of work experience and examinations.
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ACCOUNTING RATE OF RETURN

In business, the accounting rate of return (ARR) is the net profit to be expected from an investment, calculated as a percentage of the book value of the assets invested.
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ACCOUNTING TECHNICIAN

In business, an accounting technician is a person qualified by membership of an appropriate body (such as the Association of Accounting Technicians) to undertake tasks in the accountancy field without being a fully qualified accountant.
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ACCOUNTS

Accounts are a statement of income and expenditure.
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ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

In business, accounts payable are the amounts due to suppliers of goods and services to an organization. Originally an American term, it is gaining popularity in Britain.
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ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

Accounts receivable are the amounts owed to an organization for goods and services that it has supplied. Originally an American term, it is gaining popularity in Britain.
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ACCRUALS CONCEPT

The accruals concept is one of the four principal accounting concepts. Merely to record cash received or paid would not give a fair view of an organization's profit or loss, since it would not take account of goods sold but not yet paid for nor of expenses incurred but not yet paid. Accordingly, it is considered good accounting practice to prepare accounts taking note of such accruals. This is also akin to the matching concept, which suggests that costs should, as far as possible, be matched with the income to which they give rise.
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ACCRUED BENEFITS

Accrued benefits is a business term for the benefits that have accrued to a person in respect of his pension, for the service he has given up to a given date, whether or not he continues in office.
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ACCUMULATED DEPRECIATION

Accumulated depreciation is a business term for the total amount written off the value of an asset. It is the sum of the yearly instalments of depreciation since the asset was acquired.
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ACCUMULATED DIVIDEND

In business an accumulated dividend is a dividend that has not been paid to a company's preference shareholders. It is, therefore, shown as a liability in its accounts.
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ACCUMULATED PROFITS

In business, accumulated profits are the amount showing in the appropriation of profits account that can be carried forward to the next year's accounts, i.e. after paying dividends, taxes, and putting some to reserve.
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ACCUMULATING SHARES

In business, accumulating shares are ordinary shares issued to holders of ordinary shares in a company, instead of a dividend. Accumulating shares are a way of replacing annual income with capital growth; they avoid income tax but not capital-gains tax. Usually tax is deducted by the company from the declared dividend, in the usual way, and the net dividend is then used to buy additional ordinary shares for the shareholder.
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ACCUMULATION UNIT

In business, an accumulation unit is a unit in an investment trust in which dividends are ploughed back into the trust, after deducting income tax, enabling the value of the unit to increase. It is usually linked to a life- assurance policy.
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ACORN

ACORN (A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods) is a directory that classifies 39 different types of neighbourhoods in Britain, assuming that people living in a particular neighbourhood will have similar behaviour patterns, disposable incomes, etc. It is used by companies to provide target areas for selling particular products or services (such as swimming pools, double glazing, etc.) or alternatively to exclude areas (particularly finance and insurance-related) from a sales drive. It is also used extensively for selecting representative samples for questionnaire surveys.
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ACQUISITION ACCOUNTING

In business, acquisition accounting is the accounting procedures adopted when one company is taken over by another. This often involves controversial issues as to the way in which goodwill is to be treated.
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ACROSS THE NETWORK

Across the network is a business term denoting a television advertisement or programme series that is broadcast across all regions simultaneously.
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ACT OF GOD

In business, an Act of God is a natural event that is not caused by any human action and cannot be predicted. It is untrue (as is sometimes thought) that insurance policies covering homes and businesses exclude acts of God. In fact, both cover such natural events as storms, lightning, and floods. However, some contracts exclude liability for damage arising from acts of God
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ACT OF WAR

In business, an act of war is anything that causes loss or damage as a result of hostilities or conflict. Such risks are excluded from all insurance policies (except life assurances). In marine and aviation insurance only, any extra premium may be paid to include war risks.
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ACTIVE BOND CROWD

In American financial-talk, the active bond crowd refers to those members of the bond department of the New York Stock Exchange who trade the most bonds.
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ACTIVE PARTNER

In business an active partner is a partner who has contributed to the business capital of a partnership and who participates in its management. All partners are deemed to be active partners unless otherwise agreed.
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ACTIVE STOCKS

Active stocks are the stocks and shares that have been actively traded, as recorded in the Official List of the London Stock Exchange.
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ACTUAL TOTAL LOSS

In business, actual total loss is a term for the complete destruction or loss of an insured item or one that has suffered an amount of damage that makes it cease to be the thing it originally was. For example, a motor car would be an actual total loss if it was destroyed, stolen and not recovered, or damaged so badly that the repair cost exceeded its insured value.
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ACTUALS

In business, actuals (physicals) are commodities that can be purchased and used, rather than goods traded on a futures contract, which are represented by documents.
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ACTUARY

In business, an actuary is a person trained in the mathematics of statistics and probability theory. Some are employed by insurance companies to calculate probable lengths of life and advise insurers on the amounts that should be put aside to pay claims and the amount of premium to be charged for each type of risk. Actuaries also advise on the administration of pension funds; the government actuary is responsible for advising the government on National Insurance and other state pension schemes.
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AD REFERENDUM

Ad referendum (Latin: to be further considered) is a business term denoting a contract that has been signed although minor points remain to be decided.
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AD VALOREM

Ad valorem (Latin: according to value) is a business term denoting a tax or commission that is calculated as a percentage of the total invoice value of goods rather than the number of items. For example, VAT is an ad valorem tax, calculated by adding a fixed percentage to an invoice value.
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ADJUSTMENT

In marine insurance, adjustment is the settling of the amount of the loss which the insurer is entitled under a particular policy to recover, and if the policy is subscribed by more than one underwriter, of the amounts which the underwriters respectively are liable to pay.
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ADVANCE CORPORATION TAX

Advance corporation tax (ACT) is a feature of the imputation system of taxation that has applied in Britain since 1972. When dividends (or other distributions) are made by UK companies to their shareholders, the companies must account to the Inland Revenue for advance corporation tax at a rate that would equal the basic rate of income tax on a figure consisting of the distribution plus the ACT. Thus, if the basic rate of income tax is 30%, the rate of ACT would be 3/7, so that a dividend of 700 with its ACT of 3/7 x 700 = 300 would total 1000, on which the tax at 30% would be 300 (the amount of the ACT). The ACT thus paid serves two purposes: (1) it is a payment on account of the individual shareholder's personal income tax on the dividend, and (2) for the paying company it constitutes a payment on account of that company' s corporation tax for the period in which the dividend is paid. There are limits to the amount of ACT that may be set against corporation tax liabilities for any given period. Unrelieved ACT may also be carried backwards or forwards or surrendered to other companies.
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ADVERSE BALANCE

In business, an adverse balance is a deficit on an account, especially a balance of payments account.
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ADVERTISING AGENCY

An advertising agency is a business organization specializing in planning and handling advertising on behalf of clients. A full-service agency provides a range of services to clients, including booking advertising space, designing and producing advertisements, devising media schedules, commissioning research, providing sales promotion advice, and acting as a marketing consultant. The departments within an agency include research, planning, creative design, media bookings, production, and accounts. Most advertising agents work on the basis of a commission on the total sums spent by the client.
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ADVERTISING ALLOWANCE

In business, an advertising allowance is a price concession given by a manufacturer of a product to a retailer to allow him to pay for local advertising. It is an effective way of advertising both the product and the retail outlet.
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ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION

The Advertising Association (AA) is an organization representing the interests of advertisers, advertising agencies, and the media. It was founded in 1926 and collects and assesses statistics on advertising expenditure as well as running an annual programme of seminars and training courses for people working in advertising, marketing, and sales promotion.
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ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY

he Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is a British independent body set up and paid for by the advertising industry to ensure that its system of self-regulation works in the public interest. The ASA must have an independent chairman, who appoints individuals to serve on the council, two- thirds of which must be unconnected with the advertising industry. The ASA maintains close links with central and local government, consumer organizations, and trade associations. All advertising, apart from television and radio commercials, which are dealt with by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), must be legal, decent, honest, and truthful; it must adhere to the British Code of Advertising Practice (BCAP), which provides the rules for all non-broadcast advertising. This applies not only to what it said in an advertisement, but also what is shown. If it is claimed that one bar of chocolate contains 1/2 pint of milk, then the chocolate bar must contain that amount of milk. If the advertisement makes no claim, but shows a 1/2 pint bottle or carton of milk, then the chocolate must still contain this amount of milk. The ASA controls the contents of advertisements by continuous monitoring of publications and by dealing with complaints from members of the public.
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ADVICE NOTE

An advice note is a note sent to a customer by a supplier of goods to advise him that an order has been fulfilled. The advice note may either accompany the goods or be sent separately, thus preceding the invoice and any delivery note. The advice note refers to a particular batch of goods, denoting them by their marks and numbers (if more than one package); it also details the date and method of dispatch.
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ADVICE OF DURATION AND CHARGE

Advice of duration and charge (ADC) is a business term for the length of a telephone call and its cost. In Britain a caller who wishes to know the cost of a call after he has made it, dials the operator and asks for an ADC call to a particular number. After the call the operator will ring back with the information.
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ADVISE FATE

Advise fate is a business term for a request by a collecting bank wishing to know, as soon as possible, whether a cheque will be paid on its receipt by the paying bank. The cheque is sent direct and not through the Bankers' Clearing House, asking that its fate should be advised immediately.
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AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

The African International Association was a body established in 1876, under the patronage of the King of the Belgians, for the purpose of furthering a unity of aims and methods among the various persons, societies, and governments engaged in colonizing or exploring the Congo country in West and Central Africa. The association was supported mainly from the private purse of King Leopold, and its chief object was the opening of trade routes from the coast to the interior for legitimate traffic, hoping in time to stop the slave-trade and reduce the natives to a semblance of civilization. On the east coast similar operations were undertaken, and the route from Zanzibar to Ujiji was shortened from six months to 45 days. Henry Stanley entered the service of King Leopold and founded several stations on the Congo, the chief of which he named Leopoldville. De Brazza, the French explorer, and Lieutenant Becker also made advances into the interior on behalf of their respective governments.

The West African Conference met at Berlin on November the 15th, 1884. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the USA, France, Great Britain, Holland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Italy, and Turkey took part. The result of its deliberations was that the African International Association was constituted on a firm basis for trade and development in the Congo Free State. The years 1885 to 1890 were occupied in the building-up process, the aim of the officers of the association, at the various stations planted by Henry Stanley, being to educate and civilize the natives to the extent of teaching them to raise and bring to market those products of the country suitable for commerce. Conflicting reports reached Europe and Asia from time to time as to the possibilities of the Congo country, some accounts representing affairs as being in most promising shape, while others painted the situation and probable future in a more pessimistic light, but it was realised that better communications and a railway were important to the commercial exploitation of the area.
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AGE RELIEF

Age relief is a business term for an additional personal allowance set against income for income-tax purposes in Britain for both single people and married couples over 65. At the age of 75 both the personal allowance and the married couple's allowance are increased.
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AGENT DE CHANGE

An Agent de change is a stockbroker on the Paris Bourse.
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AGGREGATE DEMAND

Aggregate demand is a business term for the sum of demands for all the goods and services in an economy at any particular time. It was made a central concept in macroeconomics by John Keynes, and is usually defined as the sum of consumers' expenditure, investment, government expenditure, and imports less exports. Keynesian theory proposes that the free market will not always maintain a sufficient level of aggregate demand to ensure full employment and that at such times the government should seek to stimulate
aggregate demand. However, monetarists and new classical macroeconomists have questioned the feasibility of such policies and this remains a critical issue in macroeconomics.
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AGGREGATE SUPPLY

Aggregate supply is a business term for the total supply of all the goods and services in an economy. John Keynes made aggregate demand the focus of macroeconomics; however, since the 1970s many economists have questioned the importance of aggregate demand in determining the health of an economy, suggesting instead that governments should concentrate on establishing conditions to encourage the supply of goods and services. This could entail deregulation, encouraging competition, and removing restrictive practices in the labour market.
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AGIO

Agio is the difference between the real and the nominal value of money, as between paper-money and actual coin. Agio is an Italian term originally. Hence agiotage, speculation on the fluctuating differences in such values.
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AGNEL

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The agnel, also known as the mouton d'or (lamb of gold) and the agnel d'or, was an ancient French gold coin first struck in the reign of Louis IX and not minted after 1574, and valued at 12 sols 6 deniers. It was so named because it always bore the figure of an Agnus dei (lamb of God) on one side.
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AGRICULTURAL BANK

An Agricultural Bank (Land Bank) is a credit bank specifically established to assist agricultural development, particularly by granting loans for longer periods than is usual with commercial banks.
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AGRICULTURAL CHILDREN ACT

The Agricultural Children Act of 1873 prohibited the employment of children under eight years of age, and provided for the education of older children.
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AGRICULTURAL CREDIT CORPORATION LTD

The Agricultural Credit Corporation Ltd (ACC) is a corporation established in 1964 to extend the availability of medium-term bank credit for buildings, equipment, livestock, and working capital to farmers, growers, and co- operatives. The ACC offers a guarantee to the farmer's bank for such loans and promises to repay the bank should the farmer fail to do so. In return for this service the farmer pays a percentage charge to the ACC.
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AGRICULTURAL MORTGAGE CORPORATION LTD

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Ltd (AMC) is a corporation established to grant loans to farmers against mortgages on their land by the Agricultural Credits Act (1928). The AMC offers loans for periods of 5 to 30 years. The capital of the corporation is supplied by the Bank of England, the joint-stock banks, and by the issue of state-guaranteed debentures. The corporation's loans are irrevocable except in cases of default and are usually made through the local branches of the commercial banking system.
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AID

Formerly, in Britain, aid was a subsidy paid in ancient feudal times by vassals to their lords on certain occasions, the chief of which were: when their lord was taken prisoner and required to be ransomed, when his eldest son was to be made a knight, and when his eldest daughter was to be married and required a dowry. From the Norman Conquest to the fourteenth century the collecting of aids by the crown was one of the forms of taxation, being latterly regulated by parliament.
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AIDA

AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) was a 19th-century mnemonic for the progressive steps of customer reaction in the process of making a sale.
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AIR DATE

In advertising, the air date is the date of the first transmission of a commercial or an advertising campaign on television.
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AIR FREIGHT

Air freight is the transport of goods by aircraft, either in a scheduled airliner or chartered airliner carrying passengers (an all-traffic service) or in a freight plane (an all-freight service) . Air cargo usually consists of goods that have a high value compared to their weight.
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AIR WAYBILL

An air waybill (air consignment note) is a document made out by a consignor of goods by air freight to facilitate swift delivery of the goods to the consignee. It gives the name of the consignor and the loading airport, the consignee and the airport of destination, a description of the goods, the value of the goods, and the marks, number, and dimensions of the packages.
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AIRTIME

In advertising, airtime is the amount of time allocated to an advertisement on radio or television.
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ALIMONY

Alimony is an allowance made by a husband to a wife, or by a wife to a husband, in divorce proceedings.
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ALL-RISKS POLICY

In insurance, an all-risks policy is an insurance policy covering personal possessions against many risks but not, of course, all risks. A policy of this kind does not list the risks covered; instead it lists only the exclusions. Such wide cover often merits very high premiums and items covered on this basis often include jewellery, photographic or electronic equipment, and other valuables.
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ALLODIAL

Allodial is a term meaning free of rent or feudal service. An allodial tenure is one in which one owns the land one lives on, allodial is the opposite of the feudal system.
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ALLODIUM

Allodium is a landed estate owned absolutely.
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ALLONGE

In business, an allonge is an attachment to a bill of exchange to provide space for further endorsements when the back of the bill itself has been fully used. With the decline in the use of bills of exchange it is now rarely needed.
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ALLOTMENT

In business, allotment is a method of distributing previously un-issued shares in a limited company in exchange for a contribution of capital. An application for such shares will often be made after the issue of a prospectus on the flotation of a public company or on the privatisation of a state- owned industry. The company accepts the application by dispatching a letter of allotment to the applicant stating how many shares he has been allotted; he then has an unconditional right to be entered in the register of members in respect of those shares. If the number of shares applied for exceeds the number available (over subscription), allotment is made by a random draw or by a proportional allocation. If an applicant has been allotted fewer shares than he has applied for, he receives a cheque for the un-allotted balance (an application must be accompanied by a cheque for the full value of the shares applied for).
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ALPHA STOCKS

Alpha stocks is the term used to describe the most actively traded securities on the SEAQ trading system of the London Stock Exchange. Since October 1986 the approximately 4000 securities have been divided into four categories, alpha, beta, gamma, and delta stocks, according to the frequency with which they are traded. This classification defines the degree of commitment to trading that must be provided by the market makers. For alpha stocks, currently the 100 or so largest quoted companies on SEAQ, at least 10 market makers must continuously display firm buying and selling prices on the TOPIC screens installed throughout the City; furthermore, all transactions must be immediately published on TOPIC. Other criteria for alpha stocks relate to the quarterly turnover and the market capitalization of the company concerned.

Beta stocks are the second rank of quoted companies (of which there are approximately 500) and are less actively traded. For these, continuous prices must also be displayed but immediate publication of transactions is not required. For gamma stocks and delta stocks, the relatively small companies in which trade is much more infrequent, prices displayed on the screens are treated as indicative but market makers are not necessarily required to buy and sell at these prices. The prices of delta stocks need not be displayed at all.
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ALTERATION OF SHARE CAPITAL

Alteration of share capital is a business term describing an increase, reduction, or any other change in the authorized capital of a company. If permitted by the articles of association, a limited company can increase its authorized capital as appropriate. It can also rearrange its existing authorized capital (e.g. by consolidating 100 shares of 1 into 25 shares of 4 or by subdividing 100 shares of 1 into 200 of 50p) and cancel un-issued shares. These are reserved powers, passed - unless the articles of association provide otherwise - by an ordinary resolution.
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ALTERNATE DIRECTOR

In business, an alternate director is a person who can act temporarily in place of a named director of a company in his absence. An alternate director can only be present at a meeting of the board of directors if the articles of association provide for this eventuality and if the other directors agree that the person chosen is acceptable to undertake this role.
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AMBULANCE STOCKS

In business, ambulance stocks are high performance stocks recommended by a broker to a client whose portfolio has not fulfilled his expectations. They either refresh the portfolio - and the relationship between broker and client - or they confirm the client's worst fears.
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AMERICAN DEPOSITORY RECEIPT

An American Depository Receipt (ADR) is a certificate issued by an American bank containing a statement that a specific number of shares in a foreign company has been deposited with them. The certificates are denominated in US dollars and can be traded as a security in American markets.
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AMORTIZATION

In business, amortization is the process of treating as an expense the annual amount deemed to waste away from a fixed asset. The concept is particularly applied to leases, which are acquired for a given sum for a specified term at the end of which the lease will have no value. It is customary to divide the cost of the lease by the number of years of its term and treat the result as an annual charge against profit. While this method does not necessarily reflect the value of the lease at any given time, it is an equitable way of allocating the original cost between periods. Goodwill may also be amortized. The statements of standard accounting practice recommend as its preferred method the writing-off in the year of purchase of all purchased goodwill. The charge should be to the reserves and not to the profit and loss account. However the standard also permits the writing-off of goodwill to the profit and loss account in regular instalments over the period of its economic life. Home-grown goodwill, if it is in the balance sheet at all, should be similarly dealt with by one of the two methods above.
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AMORTIZE

Amortize means to sell or transfer to a corporation having perpetual rights of succession. The term is also used to describe the paying off or satisfaction of a debt by means of a sinking fund.
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ANCILLARY CREDIT BUSINESS

In business, ancillary credit business is business involved in credit brokerage, debt adjusting, debt counselling, debt collecting, or the operation of a credit-reference agency. Credit brokerage includes the effecting of introductions of individuals wishing to obtain credit to persons carrying on a consumer-credit business. Debt adjusting is the process by which a third party negotiates terms for the discharge of a debt due under consumer-credit agreements or consumer-hire agreements with the creditor or owner on behalf of the debtor or hirer. The latter may also pay a third party to take over his obligation to discharge a debt or to undertake any similar activity concerned with its liquidation. Debt counselling is the giving of advice (other than by the original creditor and certain others) to debtors or hirers about the liquidation of debts due under consumer-credit agreements or consumer-hire agreements.
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ANGEL

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The Angel or Angel-Noble was a gold coin struck first in France in 1340, and introduced to England in 1465 by Edward IV and ceased in the reign of Charles I. The value varied from 6s 8d to 10s. It was so named from the fact that it had on one side a representation of the Archangel Michael in conflict with the Dragon. The reverse side had a ship with a large cross for the mast, the letter E on the right side, and a rose on the left; whilst against the ship was a shield with the royal arms.
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ANGELOT

The Angelot was a French gold coin struck by Philip VI in 1340. Its weight was from 97.22 to 87.96 grains. Henry VI of England also issued a gold coin with this name, for use in his French dominions. It weighed about 35 grains.
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ANN

In Scottish law, an ann or annat was the half-year's stipend of a living, after the death of the clergyman, payable to his family or next of kin. The right to the ann was not vested in the clergyman himself, but in his representatives; and, accordingly, it could neither be disposed of by him nor attached for his debts.
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ANNA

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The anna was an Indian coin, one sixteenth of a rupee.
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ANNATES

Annates were a year's income claimed for many centuries by the pope on the death of any bishop, abbot, or parish priest, to be paid by his successor. In England they were at first paid to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but were afterwards appropriated by the popes. In 1532 the Parliament gave them to the crown; but Queen Anne restored them to the church by applying them to the augmentation of poor livings.
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ANNUITANT

Am annuitant is someone who receives or is entitled to receive a certain sum of money each year.
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ANNUITY

An annuity is a contract in which a person pays a premium to an insurance company, usually in one lump sum, and in return receives periodic payments for an agreed period or for the rest of his life. An annuity has been described as the opposite of a life assurance as the policyholder pays the lump sum and the insurer makes the regular payments. Annuities are often purchased at a time of prosperity to convert capital into an income during old age.
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ANNUITY TAX

Annuity tax was a tax levied by Charles I to provide stipends for ministers in Edinburgh and Montrose, it caused much disaffection and was abolished in 1860, and other provisions made for the purpose. These proved equally unpopular and their abolition was provided for by an act passed in 1870.
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ANTE-DATE

Ante-date is a business term to date a document before the date on which it is drawn up. This is not necessarily illegal or improper. For instance, an ante-dated cheque is not in law invalid.
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ANTI-TRUST LAWS

The anti-trust laws are laws passed in the USA, from 1890 onwards, making it illegal to do anything in restraint of trade, set up monopolies, or otherwise interfere with free trade and competition.
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APEX

APEX is an abbreviation for Advance-Purchase Excursion. It refers to a form of international return airline ticket offered at a discount to the standard fare, provided that bookings both ways are made 21 days in advance for international flights and 7-14 days for European flights, with no facilities for stopovers or cancellations.
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APPANAGE

Originally in feudal France, appanage (apanage) was land or office given by a king to his younger sons. The practice was adopted across Europe and the term evolved to mean public provision made by grant of land by allowance, or otherwise for the support of the younger children of a royal family. Thus the term came to mean anything assumed as a right by virtue of birth, office etc. The term also means a natural accompaniment; a special attribute and later was applied to a dependent territory or property.
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APPRAISAL

Appraisal is the act of estimating the value, the worth or the market value of an item. A valuation.
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APPRAISE

Appraise means to value, or estimate the worth of something. The word is especially used to describe the official setting of a price upon something.
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APPRAISEMENT

An appraisement is an authorised estimation of an item's worth or a valuation.
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APPROVED DEFERRED SHARE TRUST

An approved deferred share trust (ADST) is a trust fund set up by a British company, and approved by the Inland Revenue, that purchases shares in that company for the benefit of its employees. Tax on dividends is deferred until the shares are sold and is then paid at a reduced rate.
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APR

APR or annual percentage rate is the annual equivalent rate of return on a loan or investment in which the rate of interest specified is chargeable or payable more frequently than annually. Most investment institutions in Britain are now required by law to specify the APR when the interest intervals are more frequent than annual. Similarly those charge cards that advertise monthly rates of interest (say, 2%) must state the equivalent APR (24% in this case).
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ARBITRAGE

In business, arbitrage is the non-speculative transfer of funds from one market to another to take advantage of differences in interest rates, exchange rates, or commodity prices between the two markets. It is non- speculative because an arbitrageur will only switch from one market to another if he knows exactly what the rates or prices are in both markets and he will only make the switch if the profit to be gained outweighs the costs of the operation. Thus, a large stock of a commodity in a user country may force its price below that in a producing country; if the difference is greater than the cost of shipping the goods back to the producing country, this could provide a profitable opportunity for arbitrage. Similar opportunities arise with bills of exchange and foreign currencies.
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ARLES

In Scotland, arles or arles penny is money paid to bind a bargain.
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ARREARS

Arrears are monies unpaid, monies which were due to be paid in the past but which have not been paid.
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ARTEL

In Russia, an artel is a group of independent labourers working as a group and sharing profits.
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ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION

Articles of association are the document that governs the running of a company. It sets out voting rights of shareholders, conduct of shareholders' and directors' meetings, powers of the management, etc. Either the articles are submitted with the memorandum of association when application is made for incorporation or the relevant model articles contained in the Companies Regulations (Tables A to F) are adopted. Table A contains the model articles for companies limited by shares. The articles constitute a contract between the company and its members but this applies only to the rights of shareholders in their capacity as members. Therefore directors or company solicitors (for example) cannot use the articles to enforce their rights. The articles may be altered by a special resolution of the members in a general meeting.
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ASPER

The asper or aspee was a former small Turkish coin, of which there were 120 in the piastre.
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ASSENTED STOCK

Assented stock is a security, usually an ordinary share, the owner of which has agreed to the terms of a takeover bid. During the takeover negotiations, different prices may be quoted for assented and non-assented stock.
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ASSET STRIPPING

Asset stripping is a business term describing the acquisition or takeover of a company whose shares are valued below their asset value, and the subsequent sale of the company's most valuable assets. Asset stripping was a practice that occurred primarily in the 1940s and 1950s, during which property values were rising sharply. Having identified a suitable company, an entrepreneur would buy up its shares on the stock exchange until he had a controlling interest; after revaluing the properties held, he would sell them for cash, which would be distributed to shareholders, including himself. He would then either revitalize the management of the company and later sell off his shareholding at a profit or, in some cases, close the business down. Because the asset stripper is totally heedless of the welfare of the other shareholders, the employees, the suppliers, or creditors of the stripped company, the practice is now highly deprecated.
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ASSET-BACKED FUND

An asset-backed fund is a fund in which the money is invested in tangible or corporate assets, such as property or shares, rather than being treated as savings loaned to a bank or other institution. Asset-backed funds can be expected to grow with inflation in a way that bank savings cannot.
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ASSETS

Assets (from the French, assez, enough), are property or goods available for the payment of a bankrupt or deceased person's obligations. Assets are personal or real, the former comprising all goods, chattels, etc, devolving upon the executor as saleable to discharge debts and legacies. In commerce and bankruptcy the term is often used as the antithesis of liabilities, to designate the stock in trade and entire property of an individual or an association.
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ASSIGNATS

Assignats was the name of the national paper currency in the time of the French revolution. Assignats to the value of four hundred million francs were first struck off by the Constituent Assembly, with the approbation of the king on April the 19th 1790, to be redeemed with the proceeds of the sale of the confiscated goods of the church. On August the 27th of the same year, Mirabeau urged the issuing of 2,000,000,000 francs of new assignats, which caused a dispute in the assembly. Vergasse and Dupont, who saw that the plan was an invention of Claviere for his own enrichment, particularly distinguished themselves as the opponents of the scheme. Mirabeau's exertions, however, were seconded by Pethion, and 800,000,000 francs more were issued. They were increased by degrees to 45,578,000,000, and their value rapidly declined. In the winter of 1792-93 they lost 30 per cent, and in spite of the law to compel their acceptance at their nominal value they continued to fall until in the spring of 1796 they had sunk to one three hundred and forty-fourth their nominal value. This depreciation was due partly to the want of confidence in the stability of the government, partly to the fact that the coarsely-executed and easily counterfeited assignats were forged in great numbers. They were withdrawn by the Directory from the currency, and at length redeemed by mandats at one-thirtieth of their nominal value.
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ASSOCIATED BRITISH PORTS

The Associated British Ports (ABP) is a statutory corporation set up by the Transport Act (1981) to administer the 19 ports previously controlled by the British Transport Docks Board. ABP now administers 21 ports and is controlled by Associated British Ports Holding plc.
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ASSOCIATION FOR PAYMENT CLEARING SERVICES

The Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) An association set up by the UK banks in 1985 to manage payment clearing and overseas money transmission in the UK. The three operating companies under its aegis are: BACS Ltd, which provides an automated service for interbank clearing in the UK; Cheque and Credit Clearing Co. Ltd, which operates a bulk clearing system for interbank cheques and paper credits; and CHAPS and Town Clearing, which provides same-day clearing for high value cheques and electronic funds transfer. In addition EftPos UK Ltd is a company set up to develop electronic funds transfer at the point of sale. APACS also oversees London Dollar Clearing, the London Currency Settlement Scheme, and the cheque card and eurocheque schemes in the UK.
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ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH INSURERS

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is a trade association representing over 440 insurance companies offering any class of insurance business, whose members transact over 90% of the business of the British insurance market. It was formed in 1985 by a merger the British Insurance Association, the Accident Offices Association, the Fire Offices Committee, the Life Offices Association, and the Industrial Life Offices Association.
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ASSOCIATION OF FUTURES BROKERS AND DEALERS

The Association of Futures Brokers and Dealers (AFBD) is an association, established in 1984 by the major London futures exchanges, as a Self- Regulatory Organization to protect investors by providing a regulatory framework for the supervision of futures brokers and dealers.
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ASSOCIATION OF MARKET SURVEY ORGANIZATIONS

he Association of Market Survey Organizations (AMSO) is an association of 27 of the largest UK survey research organizations. Member companies adhere to a strict code of conduct to ensure the highest standards of market research.
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ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH EAST ASIAN NATIONS

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The Association of South East Asian Nations is a commercial organisation formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand with the objective of promoting mutual economic development.
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ASSURANCE

Assurance is an insurance against an eventuality (especially death) that must occur.
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AT AND FROM

At and from is a business term denoting a marine hull insurance cover that begins when the vessel is in dock before a voyage, continues during the voyage, and ends 24 hours after it has reached its port of destination.
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AT BEST

At best is a business term denoting an instruction to a broker to buy or sell shares, stocks, commodities, currencies, etc., as specified, at the best possible price. It must be executed immediately irrespective of market movements.
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AT LIMIT

At limit is a business term denoting an instruction to a broker to buy or sell shares, stocks, commodities, currencies, etc., as specified, at a stated limiting price (i.e. not above a stated price if buying or not below a stated price if selling). When issuing such an instruction the principal should also state for how long the instruction stands, e.g. for a day, a week, etc.
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AUCTION

An auction is a method of sale in which goods are sold in public to the highest bidder. Auctions are used for any property for which there are likely to be a number of competing buyers, such as houses, second-hand and antique furniture, works of art, etc., as well as for certain commodities, such as tea, bristles, wool, furs, etc., which must be sold as individual lots, rather than on the basis of a standard sample or grading procedure.

In most auctions the goods to be sold are available for viewing before the sale and it is usual for the seller to put a reserve price on the articles offered, i.e. the articles are withdrawn from sale unless more than a specified price is bid. The auctioneer acts as agent for the seller in most cases and receives a commission on the sale price. An auctioneer who declares himself to be an agent of the seller promises that he has authority to sell and that he knows of no defect in the seller's title to the goods; he does not, however, promise that a buyer will receive good title for a specific object. An advertisement that an auction will be held does not bind the auctioneer to hold it. It is illegal for a dealer (a person who buys at auction for subsequent resale) to offer a person a reward not to bid at an auction.
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AUDIT

In business, an audit is the inspection of an organization's annual accounts. An external audit is carried out by a qualified accountant, in order to obtain an opinion as to the veracity of the accounts. Under the Companies Acts, companies are required to appoint an auditor to express an opinion as to whether the annual accounts give a true and fair view of the company's affairs and whether they comply with the provisions of the Companies Acts. To give such an opinion, the auditor needs to examine the company's internal accounting systems, inspect its assets, make tests of accounting transactions, etc. Some bodies have different requirements for audit; for example, accountants report to the Law Society on solicitors' accounts under the Accountants' Report Rules. Many companies and organizations now appoint internal auditors to carry out an internal audit, with the object of reporting to management on the efficacy and security of internal systems. In some cases these systems may not even be financial; they may include, for example, an audit of health and safety in the workplace or an audit of compliance with equal opportunities legislation.
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AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATION

The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) is a British organization to which most newspaper, magazine, and periodical publishers belong. Its function is to collect and audit sales figures from publishers regularly and to publish monthly circulation figures in its quarterly Circulation Review, a publication of great value to advertisers. A newspaper, magazine, or periodical must have been publishing for a minimum of six months before joining the ABC.
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AUREUS

The Aureus was the first and standard Roman gold coin, issued tentatively about 217 BC and afterwards permanently by Julius Caesar and the Roman emperors, until Constantine substituted the solidus for it.
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AUTARKY

Autarky (from the Greek meaning self-sufficiency) is an economic policy of self-sufficiency that aims to prevent a country from engaging in international trade. It has been condemned by economists since Adam Smith, although some countries have chosen autarky for political reasons, notably the Soviet Union before the Second World War, on the ground that an underdeveloped country will be better able to build up its industries if it is free from international competition.
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AVERAGE BOND

In business an average bond is a promise to pay general average contributions, if required. If a general- average loss occurs during a marine voyage the carrier has a right to take part of the cargo as payment of the cargo owners' contribution to the loss. As an alternative to the possibility of losing part of his cargo, the cargo owner may take out an
average bond with insurers, who agree to pay any losses arising in this way.
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