DEFINITION of 'Compound Accreted Value  CAV'
A measure of the theoretical value of a zerocoupon bond at any given point in time. Because there are no interest payments like there are with traditional bonds, the interest of a zerocoupon bond accrues until maturity. Therefore, the CAV can be calculated by adding all of the interest earned up to a given point in time to the original price.
BREAKING DOWN 'Compound Accreted Value  CAV'
Calculating a zerocoupon bond's CAV becomes important if the bond carries a call provision. This is because call provisions for zerocoupon bonds are typically linked to the bond's CAV. The provision will usually stipulate that the issuer can call the bond on a specific date at a price that is a premium to the bond's CAV.
A zerocoupon bond is trading at a premium if it costs more than its CAV at that specific point in time. Conversely, the zerocoupon bond is trading at a discount if it costs less than its CAV.

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