In this section, we propose a series of frequently asked questions and answers allowing you to improve your knowledge and understanding of how a stock-market investment works.

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  • the Autorité des Marchés financiers (AMF) is the French regulatory body that scrutinizes financial markets and related activities.
  • the French stock market is managed by Euronext Paris, which establishes market rules, under the scrutiny of the AMF. Euronext decides on whether a company can be listed, ensures the public dissemination of information on transactions and negotiations, posts stock prices, registers transactions and negotiations between its members, offers market services to issuers to announce the listing of their securities and to enable them to carry out financial operations.
What is a stock share?

It is a negotiable security which represents a fraction of the capital value or equity of a company. This security gives the owner access to dividends, the right to vote at the shareholders’ meetings in proportion to the fraction of capital owned and a right to be informed on the life and performance of the company.

What is the nominal value of a share?

This is the initial value of a share as set forth in the statutes of the company. The nominal capital of the company is the result of the nominal value of a share multiplied by the number of shares.

How can shareholders of a company inform themselves?

In France, listed companies must comply with a series of rules and obligations. They must publish information on their business and financial situation at different points in time, either on a permanent, regular or occasional basis. The French financial markets authority – Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) – ensures compliance by issuers of their obligations, including the requirement to inform the public.

What is the purpose of shareholders’ meetings?

Shareholders’ meetings, which can be ordinary, extraordinary or both, are held at least once a year. They are privileged encounters to inform all shareholders on the group, to discuss matters with members of the Board of Directors and the main decision-makers, to participate in making decisions and to vote on proposed resolutions.

How is the price of a stock established?

It is the result of the interaction between supply and demand of listed titles on a stock market. The ABC arbitrage stock is freely exchanged on Euronext Paris, open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.35 pm.
The share price is available on the Euronext website.

What is a market index?

An instrument to measure the performance of shares or bonds; the market index reflects the evolution of a market or a sector and represents the average (simple or weighted) price of the sample securities that are the base for calculating the index.

How do you measure equity value? 

The equity value of the company is the result of the number of shares in its equity multiplied by the share price.

What is self-holding capital? 

It is the proportion of its own equity owned by the company. Self-holding shares do not generate any voting rights and are not granted dividends.

What are the net earnings per share? 

They are the group’s net earnings in the fiscal year divided by the number of shares. Analysts use this figure to evaluate the evolution of the company’s performance over several years or to compare the performance of companies in a given sector. It is also used to calculate the PER (Price Earnings Ratio), which is the ratio between the stock price and the net result per share. This indicator is used to compare the intrinsic value of different companies.

What is a dividend? 

It is the share of net earnings distributed to shareholders. The amount is proposed by the Board of Directors and voted by the shareholders at the General Shareholders’ Meeting.

How do you measure the rate of distribution? 

It is the percentage of net earnings distributed to shareholders as dividends.

What is the yield of a share? 

It is the annual revenue generated by a share, compared to the stock price (net dividend/stock price). It is expressed as a percentage.