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Tuesday, September 26, 2017 
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Certificates are hybrid financial instruments that represent financial obligations ("the debt") of an issuer towards holder of the instrument. Certificates have a derivative component that modifies the risk profile and the return.

Certificates relate to an underlying asset, which can be another financial instrument such as shares, a stock index, an exchange rate, interest rate, a commodity, baskets or combinations of such instruments or securities.

Other features of certificates are as follows:

  • the certificates’ issuer "replaces" usual cash flows of a debt-like obligation (e.g.: coupons and principal repayment at maturity) with non-standard cash flows that are determined by reference to the price or value of an underlying asset
  • cash flows depend on the performance of the underlying asset
  • depending on the type of the certificate: leverage effect, protection of invested capital.

Types of certificates traded at BVB

Investment certificates (index)

Index certificates have an extremely simple structure, as they follow the underlying asset on "one-to-one" basis. The underlying assets are indices, stocks, commodities, etc. Investment certificates are preferred by medium and long-term investors. The investment risk is equal to the market risk. Index certificates can have fixed maturity or an indefinite life (open-end).

Turbo certificates

Turbo certificates allow investors to benefit from market fluctuations in both directions:

  • Turbo Long certificates bring a profit when prices are rising
  • Turbo Short certificates bring a profit when the prices are going down.

Each movement in the price leads to unequal gains/losses compared to the underlying asset because of the in-built leverage effect. However, whereas the potential gain from a certificate is unlimited, the risk involved entails the loss of the entire investment if the barrier is reached. The risk of investing in turbo certificates is therefore higher than the market risk.

As highly leveraged instruments, Turbo certificates are designed for speculative investors with an active trading strategy and having a strong view on the future direction of the underlying market.

Capital protection certificates

Capital protection certificates are suitable for investors looking for investment opportunities with a higher degree of security, as they have a capital protection component, partial or total, in line with the features set by the issuer. Capital protection certificates are preferred by investors with low risk tolerance (even risk adverse), in search for medium and long term investment opportunities and aiming also at protecting the invested capital over time. Capital protection applies only to the nominal value of the certificate and only at maturity, so any decision to sell the certificates before maturity is subject to market risk. The potential gain from such financial instruments is correlated with the underlying asset and also depends on the default participation level (the exposure to the underlying performance).

Certificates are traded similarly to other types of financial instruments such as shares and bonds. Unlike derivatives, certificates are not margin traded.

Issuers of structured products are usually credit institutions. Market liquidity is ensured by introducing buy or sell quotations by:

  • the issuer in its own name, if he acts both as issuer and Participant at BVB
  • through a designated intermediary, if the issuer is not a BVB Participant.

The BVB Participant engaging to maintain the liquidity of certificates under the required conditions is called a Liquidity Provider.

More presentations on available certificates:

Guide for investments in Certificates


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