What is the Face Value of a Share?

  • 04-Oct-2023
  • 2 mins read

Have you ever come across the term “face value of a share” while diving into the world of investments? It’s an essential concept that every investor, including you, should understand. The face value of a share is the nominal or legal value assigned to a single unit of a company’s stock. Despite its simplicity, this value is important in finance.

This article explores the significance of face value, importance, and impact on investment decisions. So, prepare to learn more about the stock market basics.

Meaning of Face Value?

The face value of a share is also known as par value. It shows a company’s initial stock value when it enters the market. Note that the share’s face value does not reflect its market price. The current share price of a firm differs from its face value. This difference encompasses accrued interest (or dividends) since the price changed and any brokerage fees incurred during trading.

The face value is historically significant, as it was how stockholders were compensated, often via a check, which is why “stock” was originally associated with ownership certificates. The face value can fluctuate based on market dynamics, with positive news elevating its valuation and negative information diminishing it.

Role of Face Value

The face value of a share plays several important roles in the world of finance and corporate governance. While its significance has evolved over time, it continues to hold importance in various aspects of business and investing:

1. Legal and Accounting Basis

The face value of a share serves as the legal and accounting foundation for a company. It represents the minimum monetary worth assigned to a single share, establishing the initial capital upon which a company is formed. This nominal value is crucial for regulatory compliance and financial record-keeping This helps ensure that a company maintains a transparent and structured capital structure, as required by various legal and accounting standards.

2. Issuance Price

The face value of a share is instrumental in determining its issuance price, especially during initial public offerings (IPOs). Companies often launch their IPOs with shares priced close to or at their face value. This starting point provides a foundation for share pricing and valuation in the market. Investors and underwriters use this initial price as a reference for assessing the company’s market worth and attractiveness as an investment opportunity.

3. Dividend Calculation

The face value of a share in rupees is crucial in determining dividend payouts. For instance, if a company declares a dividend of 10% on shares with a face value of ₹100, each shareholder will receive ₹10 per share as a dividend. This calculation simplifies dividend distribution and allows investors to anticipate their earnings based on their shareholdings. It also highlights the role of face value in determining the income shareholders can expect from their investments.

4. Rights Issues

Rights issues involve a company offering its existing shareholders the chance to purchase additional shares. The face value of a share is crucial in this context because it determines the price at which these new shares are offered. Typically, the company offers the new shares at a price close to the face value. This allows current shareholders to maintain their proportional ownership by purchasing more shares at an advantageous rate compared to the market price.

5. Legal Capital Requirements

Some jurisdictions mandate companies to maintain a minimum level of paid-up capital. This requirement often relates to the face value of issued shares. It’s essentially a legal safeguard, ensuring that companies have a solid financial foundation. By adhering to this rule, companies demonstrate financial stability and provide protection to creditors. This regulation helps maintain the integrity of the financial system, making it a crucial aspect of corporate governance that you should be aware of when investing in stocks.

Share or Bond Certificate

Companies assign a defined value, known as the face value, to their shares and bonds, a crucial factor for accounting purposes. Share certificates, issued by these companies, contain essential information such as face value, share class, and issue dates. This face value is prominently displayed on these certificates and is vital for investors as it helps them determine the starting point for trading stocks.

Moreover, the face value plays a significant role in a company’s balance sheet, making it an essential financial metric for both corporations and investors.

Formula of Face Value

The calculation for the face value of a stock, often referred to as the “nominal value” or “par value,” can be expressed as:

Face Value of a Share = Equity Share Capital / Outstanding Share Numbers

Difference Between the Face value and Market value

Face Value and Market Value are two key concepts in the world of finance and investments. They represent different aspects of a stock’s worth. These are the primary differences:

Aspect Face Value Market Value
Definition The nominal or legal value of a share, as determined by the company during its issuance. The current price at which a share is being traded on the stock exchange.
Determination Set by the company and remains fixed until the company decides to change it. Fluctuates constantly throughout the trading day based on supply and demand.
Indication of Value Represents the minimum value of the share as per the company’s records. Represents the actual worth of the share in the open market.
Influence on Dividends Used to calculate the dividend per share, as dividends are often paid as a percentage of the face value. Does not directly affect dividend calculations, as dividends are based on company profits and policies.
Investment Assessment Typically, not a relevant factor when assessing a stock’s investment value. Crucial for investors as it reflects the market’s perception of the stock’s performance and potential.
Legal and Accounting Purposes Important for legal and accounting purposes, such as defining the authorized share capital of a company. Used for tax and accounting purposes and is essential for determining the market capitalization of a company

How to Modify the Face Value of Stocks?

Modifying the face value of stocks is a strategic decision made by a company’s board of directors. To increase the face value, they typically consolidate shares by reducing the number of outstanding shares and proportionally increasing the face value. Conversely, they may subdivide shares to increase the number of shares and lower the face value of each share. For instance, a 1:2 subdivision of a corporation with a face value of INR 10 would create new shares worth INR 5.


The face value of a share, though often overshadowed by market dynamics, remains a fundamental concept for investors. Its historical significance, role in accounting, and influence on dividend calculations underscore its importance.  While the face value alone doesn’t determine a stock’s worth, understanding it equips you with valuable insights for informed decision-making in the world of investments. Remember that Face value is an important investment tool as you navigate the financial markets.


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