Share Capital

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DEFINITION of 'Share Capital'

Funds raised by issuing shares in return for cash or other considerations. The amount of share capital a company has can change over time because each time a business sells new shares to the public in exchange for cash, the amount of share capital will increase. Share capital can be composed of both common and preferred shares.

Also known as "equity financing".

BREAKING DOWN 'Share Capital'

The amount of share capital a company reports on its balance sheet only accounts for the initial amount for which the original shareholders purchased the shares from the issuing company. Any price differences arising from price appreciation/depreciation as a result of transactions in the secondary market are not included.

For example, suppose ABC Inc. raised $2 billion from its initial public offering. Over the next year, the total value of its shares increases to $5 billion. In this case, the value of the share capital is still only $2 billion because ABC Inc. had received only $2 billion from the sale of its securities to the investing public.

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