What is Par Value?

Par Value, otherwise known as Face Value or Nominal Value, is the value of a security as stated by the issuing entity. A security is often offered for this standard denomination of money, which may or may not correspond to its current market value.

In this context, the term “security” refers to a financial instrument representing ownership, a debt agreement, or rights to ownership that can be bought and sold. Examples of securities include stocks, bonds, options, futures, and mutual funds.

Applications of par value

In Stocks:

  • Initial Value

In stocks, par value is the minimum price at which shares are initially issued.

  • Legal implications

It may have legal consequences, especially if it is being sold at the minimum price for which shares can be sold.

  • Symbolic Value

Today, the par value of a stock is often set at a minimal amount, occasionally, even a fraction of a cent, making it largely symbolic.

Illustration of a security certificate, a man working at his desk with graphs and market symbols floating, depicting the concept of Par Value.
Image created by Market Business News.

In Bonds:

  • Redemption Value

For bonds, the par value is the amount paid to the bondholder at maturity.

  • Interest Calculation

Bondholders get interest in the form of a specified percentage of the par value, which is also a basis for calculating interest payments.

Investopedia.com, offers the following example:

“For example, if a bond with a par value of $100 is purchased with a maturity date one year in the future, the bondholder is entitled to collect $100 from the issuing company at the end of that year—in addition to whatever interest payments the bond yielded.”


For investors:

  • Stocks

Par value has limited significance for stock investors in modern markets.

  • Bonds

It is important to bond investors because it impacts both the maturity return and the periodic interest payments.

For Companies:

  • Capital Structure

A company’s legal capital structure may be affected by par value decisions for its stock.

  • Bond Issuance

When issuing bonds, the par value can influence investors’ perceptions and appeal of the bond.

Challenges and considerations regarding par value

There are several challenges people may face, including:

  • Misinterpretations

In some cases, par value is mistakenly equated with market value, which may lead to some confusion among inexperienced investors.

  • Regulatory Requirements

Different jurisdictions have their own unique legal standards that companies must adhere to regarding par value.

Written by Nicolas Perez Diaz