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Corporate Finance and Investment: Decisions & Strategies, by Richard Pike

By Richard Pike

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Deals are either on a spot basis (for immediate delivery) or on a forward basis (for future delivery). 4 The London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) www. e. QXD 10/27/08 12:30 PM Page 25 Chapter 2 The financial environment derivatives Securities that are traded separately from the assets from which they are derived future A tradable contract to buy or sell a specified amount of an asset at a specified price at a specified future date option The right but not the obligation to buy or sell a particular asset financial intermediaries Institutions that channel funds from savers and depositors with cash surpluses to people and organisations with cash shortages ■ 25 movements in shares, currencies and interest rates.

4 Deregulation in the City is an attempt to make financial markets more efficient and competitive. The full adoption of the euro in 2002 for most European countries has reduced the risk and cost of doing business between such nations. 5 The requirement that from 2006 all EU-listed companies must use International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for their accounts, gives greater transparency in company performance in Europe. 6 Greater awareness of the need to view all decision-making within a strategic framework is moving the focus away from purely technical to more strategic issues.

For example, a good deal of corporate restructuring has taken place, breaking down large organisations into smaller, more strategically compatible businesses. 6 THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT IN THE FIRM The organisational structure for the finance department will vary with company size and other factors. The board of directors is appointed by the shareholders of the company. Virtually all business organisations of any size are limited liability companies, thereby reducing the risk borne by shareholders and, for companies whose shares are listed on a stock exchange, giving investors a ready market for disposal of their holdings or further investment.

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