2.1.3. Par Value
The principal amount, principal value, or simply principal of a bond is the amount that the issuer agrees to repay the bondholders on the maturity date. This amount is also referred to as the par value, or simply par, face value, nominal value, redemption value, or maturity value. Bonds can have any par value.
In practice, bond prices are quoted as a percentage of their par value. For example, assume that a bond’s par value is $1,000. A quote of 95 means that the bond price is $950 (95% × $1,000). When the bond is priced at 100% of par, the bond is said to be trading at par. If the bond’s price is below 100% of par, such as in the previous example, the bond is trading at a discount. Alternatively, if the bond’s price is above 100% of par, the bond is trading at a premium
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