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Meaning And Types Of Preference Shares

Meaning Of Preference Shares
Preference shares are those, which enjoy the following two preferential rights:
1. Dividend at a fixed rate or a fixed amount on these shares before any dividend on equity shares.
2. Return of preference share capital before the return of equity share capital at the time of winding up of the company.

Preference shares also have a right to participate or in part in excess profits left after been paid to equity shares, or has a right to participate in the premium at the time of redemption. But these shares do not carry voting rights.

Types Of Preference Shares
Following are the major types of preference shares:

1. Cumulative Preference Shares
When unpaid dividends on preference shares are treated as arrears and are carried forward to subsequent years, then such preference shares are known as cumulative preference shares. It means unpaid dividend on such shares is accumulated till it is paid off in full.

2. Non-cumulative Preference Shares
Non-cumulative preference shares are those type of preference shares, which have right to get fixed rate of dividend out of the profits of current year only. They do not carry the right to receive arrears of dividend. If a company fails to pay dividend in a particular year then that need not to be paid out of future profits.

3. Redeemable Preference Shares
Those preference shares, which can be redeemed or repaid after the expiry of a fixed period or after giving the prescribed notice as desired by the company, are known as redeemable preference shares. Terms of redemption are announced at the time of issue of such shares.

4. Non-redeemable Preference Shares
Those preference shares, which can not be redeemed during the life time of the company, are known as non-redeemable preference shares. The amount of such shares is paid at the time of liquidation of the company.

5. Participating Preference Shares
Those preference shares, which have right to participate in any surplus profit of the company after paying the equity shareholders, in addition to the fixed rate of their dividend, are called participating preference shares.

6. Non-participating Preference Shares
Preference shares, which have no right to participate on the surplus profit or in any surplus on liquidation of the company, are called non-participating preference shares.

7. Convertible Preference Shares
Those preference shares, which can be converted into equity shares at the option of the holders after a fixed period according to the terms and conditions of their issue, are known as convertible preference shares.

8. Non-convertible Preference Shares
Preference shares, which are not convertible into equity shares, are called non-convertible preference shares.

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