What is a "corporate action"?
A corporate action can generally be defined as an operation on a security during the term of its validity. This could be, for example, a capital increase, an optional dividend, a public offer or a share split.
Corporate actions are generally binding on the securityholder (such as a share split) but there are also compulsory corporate actions with options (such as a dividend at the discretion of the holder) and voluntary corporate actions (in which the client can decide to participate: for instance a public tender offer).
In the Securities Department of Luxembourg ING, the Corporate Actions area is responsible for processing operations on securities like bonds, equities and funds for both internal and external clients.
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A share is a unit of ownership delivered by a capital company. In most cases, it is a commercial company with a limited liability. Holding one of several shares – in other words, being a shareholder – means that you own a part of the company’s capital but you are not held personally liable for the company’s debts.