Fully Paid Securities

The term "fully paid securities" refers to securities held in a customer's margin or cash account that have been completely paid for and are not being pledged as collateral to support the purchase of other securities on margin. The term is relevant from a regulatory perspective as the SEC requires that U.S. broker dealers segregate and maintain in a good control location (e.g., DTC or bank) all customer securities which are fully paid.  Such securities cannot be pledged or loaned to finance the activities of the firm or other customers.

Note that securities which were fully paid at the date of acquisition may later be reclassified as margin or excess margin securities based upon the customer's subsequent trade and/or borrowing activity. For example, if the loan value of fully paid securities is subsequently used to acquire additional securities on credit, a portion of securities will then be classified as margin securities and subject to a lien and potential pledge or hypothecation by the broker.

See also "excess margin securities".

Overview of IB issued Share CFDs

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to share-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IB.

For Information on IB Index CFDs please see IB Index CFDs - Facts and Q&A.

Topics covered are as follows:

I.    CFD Definition
II.   Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares
III.  Cost and Margin Considerations
IV.  Worked Example
V.   CFD Resources
VI.  Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

I.  Share  CFD Definition

IB CFDs are OTC contracts which deliver the return of the underlying stock, including dividends and corporate actions (read more about CFD corporate actions).

Said differently, it is an agreement between the buyer (you) and IB to exchange the difference in the current value of a share, and its value at a future time. If you hold a long position and the difference is positive, IB pays you. If it is negative, you pay IB. The CFD contract is marked to market daily with gains/losses settled into your account in cash in the form of variation margin.

IB Share CFDs are traded through your margin account, and you can therefore enter long as well as short leveraged positions. The price of the CFD is the exchange-quoted price of the underlying share. In fact, IB CFD quotes are identical to the Smart-routed quotes for shares that you can observe in the Trader Work Station and IB offers Direct Market Access (DMA). Similar to shares, your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades.  This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer.

To compare IB’s transparent CFD model to others available in the market please see our Overview of CFD Market Models.

IB currently offers approximately 3800 Share CFDs covering the principal markets in the US, Europe and Asia.  The constituents of the major indexes listed below are currently available as IB Share CFDs. In many countries IB also offers trading in liquid small cap shares. These are shares with free float adjusted market capitalization of at least USD 250 million and median daily trading value of at least USD 300 thousand.  Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

United States S&P 500, DJA, Nasdaq 100, S&P 400 (Mid Cap), Non-Index Mid Cap
United Kingdom FTSE 350 + Liquid Small Cap (incl. IOB)
Germany Dax, MDax, TecDax + Liquid Small Cap
Switzerland Swiss portion of STOXX Europe 600 (48 shares)
France CAC Large Cap, CAC Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Netherlands AEX, AMS Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Belgium BEL 20, BEL Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Spain IBEX 35
Portugal PSI 20
Sweden OMX Stockholm 30
Finland OMX Helsinki 25
Denmark OMX Copenhagen 30
Norway OBX
Czech PX
Japan Nikkei 225
Hong Kong HSI
Australia ASX 200
Singapore* STI

 *not available to Singapore residents

II.   Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares

Depending on your trading objectives and trading style, CFDs offer a number of advantages compared to stocks, but also some disadvantages:
 
BENEFITS of IB CFDs
DRAWBACKS of IB CFDs
No stamp duty or financial transaction tax (UK, France, Belgium)
No ownership rights
Generally lower commission and margin rates than shares
Complex corporate actions may not always be exactly replicable
Tax treaty rates for dividends without need for reclaim
Taxation of gains may differ from shares (please consult your tax advisor)
Exemption from day trading rules
 

III.  Cost and Margin Considerations

IB CFDs can be an even more efficient way to trade the European stock markets than IB’s highly competitive stock offering.

Firstly, IB CFDs have low commissions compared to stocks, and the same low financing spreads:

 EUROPE
 
CFD
STOCK
Commission
GBP
0.05%
GBP 6.00 + 0.05%*
EUR
0.05%
0.10%
Financing**
Benchmark +/-
1.50%
1.50%

*per order + 0.05% of excess over GBP 50,000
**CFD financing on total position value, stock financing on borrowed amount

When you trade more, CFD commissions become even lower, as low as 0.02%. Financing rates are reduced for larger positions, to as low as 0.5%.  Please see CFD Commissions and CFD Financing Rates for more details.

Secondly, CFDs have lower margin requirements than stocks. This is because for CFDs we can apply a risk based margin rather than the regulatory formulas we must apply to stocks:

 
CFD
STOCK
 
All
Standard
Portfolio Margin
Margin Requirement*
10%
25% - 50%
15%

*Typical margin for blue-chips. Standard 25% intraday maintenance margin, 50% overnight.  Portfolio Margin shown is maintenance margin (incl. overnight). More volatile issues are subject to higher requirements

Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.


IV.  Worked Example

Let’s look at an example. Unilever’s Amsterdam listing has returned 3.2% in the past month (20 trading days to May 14th, 2012) and you believe it will continue to perform well. You want to build a EUR 200,000 exposure and hold it for 5 days. You do 10 trades to build up and 10 trades to unwind. Your direct costs would be as follows:

 
CFD
STOCK
EUR 200,000 Position
 
Standard
Portfolio Margin
Margin Requirement
20,000
100,000
30,000
Commission (round trip)
200.00
400.00
400.00
Interest Expense
41.96
23.35
36.44
Total Direct Cost
241.96
423.55
436.44
Difference
 
75%
80%

Note: Interest expense for CFDs is calculated on the entire contract position, for shares interest is calculated on the borrowed amount. The applicable rates are the same for both shares and CFDs.

 

But let’s assume you only have EUR 20,000 available to fund the margin. If Royal Dutch Shell continues to perform as it has in the past month, your potential profit would compare as follows:  

OPPORTUNITY COST
CFD
STOCK
Available Margin
20,000
20,000
20,000
Total Invested
200,000
40,000
133,333
Return*
1,576.27
312.25
1,050.84
Difference
 
 -80%
 -33%

*past month's (to May 14th, 2012) average daily return over 5 days

 

Please keep in mind that leverage works both ways, and you can potentially lose more with CFDs than with higher margin stocks, including more than your initial investment.

 


V.   CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IB’s CFD offering:

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

CFD Corporate Actions

CFD Trading Access

The following video tutorials are also available:

How to Place a CFD Trade on the Trader Workstation

How to Request Trading Permissions for IB CFDs


VI.  Frequently Asked Questions

What Stocks are available as CFDs?

Large and Mid-Cap stocks in the US, Western Europe, Nordic and Japan.  Liquid Small Cap stocks are also available in many markets. Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

 

Do you have CFDs on Stock Indices?

Yes. Please see IB Index CFDs - Facts and Q&A.

 

How do you determine your Share CFD quotes?

IB CFD quotes are identical to the Smart routed quotes for the underlying share. IB does not widen the spread or hold positions against you. To learn more please go to Overview of CFD Market Models.

 

Can I see my limit orders reflected on the exchange?

Yes. IB offers Direct market Access (DMA) whereby your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades. This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer.

 

How do you determine margins for Share CFDs?

IB establishes risk-based margin requirements based on the historical volatility of each underlying share. The minimum margin is 10%. Most IB CFDs are margined at this rate, making CFDs more margin-efficient than trading the underlying share in most cases.  There are however no portfolio off-sets between individual CFD positions or between CFDs and exposures to the underlying share. Very large positions may be subject to additional margin. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

 

Are short Share CFDs subject to forced buy-in?

Yes. In the event the underlying stock becomes difficult or impossible to borrow, the holder of the short CFD position will become subject to buy-in.

 

How do you handle dividends and corporate actions?

IB will generally reflect the economic effect of the corporate action for CFD holders as if they had been holding the underlying security*. Dividends are reflected as cash adjustments, while other actions may be reflected through either cash or position adjustments, or both. For example, where the corporate action results in a change of the number of shares (e.g. stock-split, reverse stock split), the number of CFDs will be adjusted accordingly. Where the action results in a new entity with listed shares, and IB decides to offer these as CFDs, then new long or short positions will be created in the appropriate amount. For an overview please CFD Corporate Actions.

*Please note that in some cases it may not be possible to accurately adjust the CFD for a complex corporate action such as some mergers. In these cases IB may terminate the CFD prior to the ex-date.

 

Can anyone trade IB CFDs?

All clients can trade IB CFDs, except residents of the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. Singapore residents can trade IB CFDs except those based on shares listed in Singapore. There are no exemptions based on investor type to the residency based exclusions. More details are available in CFD Trading Access.

 

What do I need to do to start trading CFDs with IB?

You need to set up trading permission for CFDs in Account Management, and agree to the relevant trading disclosures. IB will then set up a new account segment (identified with your existing account number plus the suffix “F”). Once the set-up is confirmed you can begin to trade. You do not need to fund the F-account separately, funds will be automatically transferred to meet CFD margin requirements from your main account. For detailed instructions please see CFD Trading Access and How to Request Trading Permissions for IB CFDs (video).

 

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IB Share CFDs is the market data for the underlying shares. It is therefore necessary to have market data permissions for the relevant exchanges. If you already have set up market data permissions for an exchange for trading the shares, you do not need to do anything. If you want to trade CFDs on an exchange for which you do not currently have market data permissions, you can set up the permissions in the same way as you would if you planned to trade the underlying shares.

 

How are my CFD trades and positions reflected in my statements?

Your CFD positions are held in a separate account segment identified by your primary account number with the suffix “F”. You can choose to view Activity Statements for the F-segment either separately or consolidated with your main account. You can make the choice in the statement window in Account Management.

 

Can I transfer in CFD positions from another broker?

IB will be glad to facilitate the transfer of CFD positions, subject to the agreement of the other broker. As the transfer of CFD positions is more complex than is the case for share positions, we generally require the position to be at least the equivalent of USD 100,000.

 

Are charts available for Share CFDs?

Yes.

 What account protections apply when trading CFDs with IB?

CFDs are contracts with IB UK as your counterparty, and are not traded on a regulated exchange and are not cleared on a central clearinghouse. Since IB UK is the counterparty to your CFD trades, you are exposed to the financial and business risks, including credit risk, associated with dealing with IB UK. Please note however that all client funds are always fully  segregated, including for institutional clients. IB UK is a participant in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS"). IB UK is not a member of the U.S. Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”).Please refer to the IB UK CFD Risk Disclosure for further detail on risks associated with trading CFDs.

 

In what type of IB accounts can I trade CFDs e.g., Individual, Friends and Family, Institutional, etc.? 

All margin accounts are eligible for CFD trading. Cash or SIPP accounts are not.

 

What are the maximum a positions I can have in a specific CFD?

There is no pre-set limit. Bear in mind however that very large positions may be subject to increased margin requirements. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

 

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?

No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening orders.

Twitter (TWTR) IPO

On November 7, 2013 trading in shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) in the secondary market is expected to begin. The IPO price range is projected at $23-$25 with the size of the offering listed at 70.0 million shares.  Relevant information relating to IB's handling of this security is as follows:

- Orders received prior to the start of trading in the secondary market will be held and submitted to the exchange on November 7, 2013.

- Acceptable order types prior to the start of trading include Limit and Limit-On-Open

- Acceptable time in force conditions for orders placed prior to the start of trading include Good-Till-Date and Good-Till-Canceled and Day.  A day order entered prior to the open of trading on November 7th will continue to work until the close of trading on November 7th unless executed or canceled.

-When the opening cross begins, any immediate order types (IOC, LOO, LOC) will be rejected and any non-immediate order types will be frozen, - i.e. they will be submitted but neither acknowledged by the exchange nor allowed to be canceled until continuous trading begins.  Non-immediate orders during the opening cross will neither participate in nor receive the price of the opening cross

- To ensure that an order has been properly transmitted and is working as intended, it is suggested that you closely monitor your working order(s) on the days prior to, as well as the day of, initial trading in the secondary market (Thursday November 7, 2013).  If you have any question as to whether the order is working, please contact Customer Service and from the main menu select option 1 and then 2

- The initial and maintenance margin requirement for TWTR will be set at 100%. Please note that margin requirements are subject to change and IB reserves the right to make such changes without advance notice.


IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Stock Yield Enhancement Program (SYEP) offers participants the opportunity to earn additional income on their full-paid shares by lending those shares to IB in exchange for a portion of the fees short sellers are willing to pay to borrow them.  Upon enrollment, Program activities are managed in their entirety by IB and require no actions on the part of participants.  These activities include the following:

- Identifying the shares in client accounts which borrowers are attempting to locate;

- Establishment of loans and returns;

- Crediting of loan fee income (expressed as an interest accrual for activity statement reporting purposes); and

- Reporting of loan activity, cash collateral transfers and income on the activity statements;

In contrast to the securities lending programs offered by others, IB provides complete transparency as to the market rate and gross fees earned from each transaction which will be split equally between the client and IB.

 

HOW IT WORKS

- Clients may enroll in the Program by logging into Account Management and selecting the Trading Access and then Trading Configuration menu options and then checking the box marked Stock Yield Enhancement Program.  Activation generally takes place overnight. Eligible accounts include any IB LLC or IB UK margin accounts and IB LLC or IB UK cash accounts with equity in excess of USD 50,000.

- Once activated, IB will review on a daily basis the inventory of eligible shares held by the participant vis-a-vis that which is necessary to satisfy internal and external borrow demand.  If the supply of eligible shares exceeds borrow demand, clients will be allocated loans on a pro rata basis (e.g. if aggregate supply is 20,000 shares and aggregate demand 10,000, each client will be eligible to have 50% of their shares loaned).

- At the end of each day that any loan is in place, the client will receive a payment presented as an interest accrual which is credited to equity and which represents 1/2 of gross lending fee charged to the end borrower.  The remaining 1/2 accrues to IB as compensation for managing the loan. The details regarding the transaction, including the quantity of shares loaned, collateral amount, market fee rate, gross fee, IB management charge and net fee are reflected on the daily activity statement.

- Clients maintain full control of loaned shares with no impairment as to:

          * Market exposure ( i.e., will continue to recognize profit or loss consistent with stock price move);

          * The ability to sell at any time without prior notice;

          * Hedges (e.g., covered calls, protective puts);

          * The representation of holdings in statements and the trading platform; and

          * Cost basis

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

- Loaned shares may not be protected by SIPC, however, the cash collateral received for the loaned securities is segregated within the 15c3-3 Reserve Account and therefore subject to the same investment restrictions;

- The market fee rate for any given loan is subject to supply and demand considerations that are outside the control of IB and which are susceptible to change from one day to another without advance notice or limit as to the magnitude of change.  The net fee income available to participants will reflect such changes;

- Proxy voting rights on loaned shares are forfeited (rights go to borrower);

- Participants may not receive actual dividends on loaned shares but instead a cash payment equivalent to the full dividend to be paid on the same date as the dividend (referred to as a 'Payment in Lieu'). As a Payment in Lieu is treated differently than a dividend for U.S. tax reporting purposes, certain taxpayers may not receive the more favorable tax treatment afforded to dividend payments deemed 'qualified'.  IB generally seeks to avoid this consequence for SYEP participants by recalling shares 10 days prior to record date, so the actual dividend is paid, but this is not guaranteed.

- Loaned shares are typically used to facilitate short sales and such transactions may affect the value of shares.

 

For additional FAQs relating to the Yield Enhancement Program, click here.

 

Stock Yield Enhancement Program FAQs

What is the purpose of the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
The Stock Yield Enhancement program provides customers with the opportunity to earn additional income on securities positions which would otherwise be segregated (i.e., fully-paid and excess margin securities) by permitting IB to lend out those securities to third parties. Customers who participate in the program will receive a portion of the fee paid by the borrower as loan compensation for any day the loan exists and will receive cash collateral to secure the return of the stock loan at its termination.

 

What are fully-paid and excess margin securities?
Fully-paid securities are securities in a customer’s account that have been completely paid for. Excess margin securities are securities that have not been completely paid for, but whose market value exceeds 140% of the customer’s margin debit balance.

 

How is the income received by a customer on any given Stock Yield Enhancement Program loan transaction determined?
The income which a customer receives in exchange for shares lent depend upon loan rates established in the over-the-counter securities lending market. These rates can vary significantly not only by the particular security loaned but also by the loan date. In addition, IB assesses a Management Fee equal to 50% of the net loan fees paid in exchange for initiating, terminating and managing transactions. In determining the customer’s portion of these fees, the Market Fee Rate % is applied to the loan collateral and this daily Gross Lending Fee is split equally between IB and the customer.  For example, assume loan collateral of $10,000 and an annualized Market Fee Rate of 15%. In this example the daily Gross Lending Fee would be $4.16 (($10,000 *.15)/360), of which $2.08 would accrue to the customer and $2.08 to IB as its Management Fee. Lending fees are calculated and accrued daily similar to interest credits.

 

How is the amount of cash collateral for a given loan determined?
The cash collateral underlying the security loan and used for determining interest payments is determined using standard industry convention whereby the closing price of the stock is multiplied by 102% and then rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. For example, a loan of 100 shares of a stock which closes at $59.24 would be equal to $6,100 ($59.24 * 1.02 = $60.4248; round to $61, multiply by 100).

 

What are the eligibility requirements for participation in the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
All IB LLC and IB UK margin accounts or IB LLC and IB UK cash accounts with equity over $50,000 at the time of application are eligible. IB Canada, IB Japan and IB India customers are not eligible. Japanese and Indian clients maintaining accounts with IB LLC are eligible.


In addition, Financial Advisor client accounts, fully disclosed IBroker clients, non-disclosed IBroker clients and Omnibus Brokers who meet the above requirements can participate. In the case of Financial Advisors and fully disclosed IBrokers, the clients themselves must sign the agreements. For non-disclosed IBroker and Omnibus Brokers, the broker signs the agreement.

 

Are IRA accounts eligible to participate in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Yes.

 

How do I enroll in the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients who are eligible and who wish to enroll in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program may do so by selecting Trading Access and then Trading Configuration from Account Management and then checking the box on the Trading Permissions matrix titled "United States (Stock Yield Enhancement Program)".

 

What happens if equity in a participating cash account falls below the $50,000 qualifying threshold?
The cash account must meet this minimum equity requirement solely at the point of signing up for the program. If the equity falls below that level thereafter there is no impact upon existing loans or the ability to initiate new loans.

 

What is the difference between AQS and the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients lending through AQS participants self-direct their activity based upon information provided via AQS’ automated centralized market. In contrast, loans transacted through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program are determined and managed by IB.

 

Can I participate in both AQS and the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients can only lend in one program at a time. If, for example, a client signs up for the Yield program and is already approved for AQS lending, we will disable their ability to lend at AQS and recall their loans. They will still, however, retain the ability to borrow through AQS and can see market data. If the client disables the Yield Enhancement Program, their AQS loan permissions will be re-enabled. In sum, the yield program always takes precedence.

 

If my account is eligible for AQS am I automatically eligible to participate in the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
No.

 

If my account is eligible for the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program am I automatically eligible to participate in AQS?
No.

 

How does one terminate Stock Yield Enhancement Program participation?
Clients who wish to terminate participation in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program may do so by selecting Trading Access and then Trading Configuration from Account Management and then removing the check from the box on the Trading Permissions matrix titled "United States (Stock Yield Enhancement Program)".
Requests to terminate are typically processed at the end of the day.

 

What types of securities positions are eligible to be lent?
Eligible securities include U.S. common stocks (exchange listed, PINK and OTCBB), ETFs, preferred stocks and corporate bonds. Municipal bonds and non-U.S. securities are not eligible.

 

Is there any restriction on lending stocks which are trading in the secondary market following an IPO?
No, as long as IB is not part of the selling group.

 

How does IB determine the amount of shares which are eligible to be loaned?
The first step is to determine the value of securities, if any, which IB maintains a margin lien upon and can lend without client participation in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program. A broker who finances client purchases of securities via margin loan is allowed by regulation to loan or pledge as collateral that client’s securities in an amount up to 140% of the cash debit balance. For example, if a client maintaining a cash balance of $50,000 buys securities having a market value of $100,000, the debit or loan balance will be $50,000 and the broker holds a lien on 140% of that balance or $70,000 of securities. Any securities held by the client in excess of that amount are referred to as excess margin securities ($30,000 in this example) and are required to be segregated unless the client provides IB the authorization to lend through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program.

The debit balance is determined by first converting all non-USD denominated cash balances to USD and then backing out any short stock sale proceeds (converted to USD as necessary). If the result is negative then we free up 140% of that negative number. In addition, cash balances maintained in the commodities segment or for spot metals and CFDs are not considered.

EXAMPLE 1: Customer is long EUR 100,000 in a USD Base Currency account with a EUR.USD rate of 1.40. Customer purchases USD denominated stock valued at $112,000 (EUR 80,000 equivalent). All securities are deemed fully-paid as cash balance as converted to USD is a credit.

Component EUR USD Base (USD)
Cash 100,000 (112,000) $28,000
Long Stock   $112,000 $112,000
NLV     $140,000

EXAMPLE 2: Customer holds long USD of 80,000, long USD denominated stock of $100,000 and short USD denominated stock of $100,000. Long securities totaling $28,000 are deemed margin securities and the remainder of $72,000 excess margin securities. This is determined by subtracting the short stock proceeds from the cash balance ($80,000 - $100,000) and multiplying the resultant debit by 140% ($20,000 * 1.4 = $28,000)

Component Base (USD)
Cash $80,000
Long Stock $100,000
Short Stock ($100,000)
NLV $80,000

 

Will IB lend out all eligible shares?
There is no guarantee that all eligible shares in a given account will be loaned through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program as there may not be a market at an advantageous rate for certain securities, IB may not have access to a market with willing borrowers or IB may not want to loan your shares.

 

Are Stock Yield Enhancement Program loans made only in increments of 100 (similar to AQS)?
No. Loans can be made in any whole share amount although externally we only lend in multiples of 100 shares. Thus the possibility exists that we would lend 75 shares from one client and 25 from another should there be external demand to borrow 100 shares.

 

How are loans allocated among clients when the supply of shares available to lend exceeds the borrow demand?
In the event that the demand for borrowing a given security is less than the supply of shares available to lend from participants in our Yield Enhancement Program, loans will be allocated on a pro rata basis (e.g. if aggregate supply is 20,000 and demand is 10,000, each client will be eligible to have 50% of his/her shares lent)

 

Are shares loaned only to other IB clients or to other third parties?
Shares may be loaned to any counterparty and is not limited solely to other IB clients.

 

Can the Stock Yield Enhancement Program participant determine which shares IB can lend?
No. The program is entirely managed by IB who, after determining those securities, if any, which IB is authorized to lend by virtue of a margin loan lien, has the discretion to determine whether any of the fully-paid or excess margin securities can be loaned out and to initiate the loans.

 

Are there any restrictions placed upon the sale of securities which have been lent through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Loaned shares may be sold at any time, without restriction. The shares do not need to be returned in time to settle your sale of the share and proceeds from the sale are credited to the client’s account on the normal settlement date. In addition, the loan will be terminated on the open of the business day following the security sale date.

 

Can a client write covered calls against stock which has been loaned out through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program and receive the covered call margin treatment?
Yes. A loan of stock has no impact upon its margin requirement on an uncovered or hedged basis since the lender retains exposure to any gains or losses associated with the loaned position.

 

What happens to stock which is the subject of a loan and which is subsequently delivered against a call assignment or put exercise?
The loan will be terminated on T+1 of the action (trade, assignment, exercise) which closed or decreased the position.

 

What happens to stock which is the subject of a loan and which is subsequently halted from trading?
A halt has no direct impact upon the ability to lend the stock and as long as IB can continue to loan the stock, such loan will remain in place regardless of whether the stock is halted.

 

Can the cash collateral from a loan be swept to the commodities segment to cover margin and/or variation?
No. The cash collateral securing the loan never impacts margin or financing.

 

What happens if a program participant initiates a margin loan or increases an existing loan balance?
If a client maintains fully-paid securities which have been loaned through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program and subsequently initiates a margin loan, the loan will be terminated to the extent that the securities do not qualify as excess margin securities. Similarly, if a client maintaining excess margin securities which have been loaned through the program increases the existing margin loan, the loan may again be terminated to the extent that the securities no longer qualify as excess margin securities.

 

Under what circumstances will a given stock loan be terminated?
In the event of any of the following, a stock loan will be automatically terminated:

- If the client elects to terminate program participation
- Transfer of shares
- Borrowing of a certain amount against the shares
- Sale of shares
- Call assignment/put exercise
- Account closure

 

Do participants in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program receive dividends on shares loaned?
While the lender of the securities is entitled to receive the amount of all dividends and distributions made on loaned securities, they may receive cash payments, commonly referred to PILs, in lieu of dividends. Depending upon ones holding period for the shares loaned, the receipt of a PIL may have an adverse tax impact for certain U.S. taxpayers as such payments are taxed as ordinary income rather than at the reduced rate associated with qualified dividends.  IB will attempt to mitigate the payment of PILs by recalling shares prior to a dividend, however, IB cannot guarantee that the borrower will be able to return the shares within the necessary time frame to avoid PIL treatment.

 

Do participants in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program retain voting rights for shares loaned?

No. the borrower of the securities has the right to vote or provide any consent with respect to the securities if the Record Date or deadline for voting, providing consent or taking other action falls within the loan term.

 

How are loans reflected on the activity statement?

Loan collateral, shares outstanding, activity and income is reflected in the following 6 statement sections:


1. Cash Detail – details starting cash collateral balance, net change resulting from loan activity (positive if new loans initiated; negative if net returns) and ending cash collateral balance.
 

 

2. Net Stock Position Summary – for each stock details total Shares at IB, the number of Shares Borrowed, the number of Shares Lent (through AQS or the Stock Yield Enhancement Program) and the Net Shares (=Shares at IB + Shares Borrowed - Shares Lent).

 

3. IB Managed Securities Lent – lists for each stock loaned through AQS or the Stock Yield Enhancement Program the Quantity of shares loaned, the Net Fee Rate (%) and the Collateral Amount.

 

4. IB Managed Securities Lent Activity – details the loan activity for each security including Loan Return Allocations (i.e., terminated loans); New Loan Allocations (i.e., initiated loans); the share Quantity; the Net Fee Rate (%) and the Collateral Amount.

 

5. IB Managed Securities Lent Activity Fee Details – details on an individual loan basis the Market Fee Rate (%); the Gross Lend Fee (represents the total fee charged to the borrower which is equal to {Collateral Amount * Market Fee Rate}/360); the IB Management Charge (equals 50% of the Gross Lend Fee); the Net Lend Fee Rate (represents the half of the Market Fee Rate which the client earns) and the Net Lend Fee (represents the client’s portion of the fee income. Equals the Gross Lend Fee - IB Management Charge).
Note: This section will only be displayed if the Net Lend Fee accrual exceeds USD 1 for the statement period.  

 

6. Interest Accruals – the loan fee income is accounted for here as an interest accrual and is treated as any other interest accrual (aggregated but only displayed as an accrual when exceeding $1 and posted to cash monthly). For year-end reporting purposes, this fee income will be reported as miscellaneous income on the Form 1099 issued to U.S. taxpayers.

 

Considerations for Optimizing Order Efficiency

Account holders are encouraged to routinely monitor their order submissions with the objective of optimizing efficiency and minimizing 'wasted' or non-executed orders.  As inefficient orders have the potential to consume a disproportionate amount of system resources. IB measures the effectiveness of client orders through the Order Efficiency Ratio (OER).  This ratio compares aggregate daily order activity relative to that portion of activity which results in an execution and is determined as follows:

 

OER = (Order Submissions + Order Revisions + Order Cancellations) / (Executed Orders + 1)

Outlined below is a list of considerations which can assist with optimizing (reducing) one's OER:

 

1. Cancellation of Day Orders - strategies which use 'Day' as the Time in Force setting and are restricted to Regular Trading Hours should not initiate order cancellations after 16:00 ET, but rather rely upon IB processes which automatically act to cancel such orders. While the client initiated cancellation request which serve to increase the OER, IB's cancellation will not.

2. Modification vs. Cancellation - logic which acts to cancel and subsequently replace orders should be substituted with logic which simply modifies the existing orders. This will serve to reduce the process from two order actions to a single order action, thereby improving the OER.

3. Conditional Orders - when utilizing strategies which involve the pricing of one product relative to another, consideration should be given to minimizing unnecessary price and quantity order modifications. As an example, an order modification based upon a price change should only be triggered if the prior price is no longer competitive and the new suggested price is competitive.

4. Meaningful Revisions – logic which serves to modify existing orders without substantially increasing the likelihood of the modified order interacting with the NBBO should be avoided. An example of this would be the modification of a buy order from $30.50 to $30.55 on a stock having a bid-ask of $31.25 - $31.26.

5. RTH Orders – logic which modifies orders set to execute solely during Regular Trading Hours based upon price changes taking place outside those hours should be optimized to only make such modifications during or just prior to the time at which the orders are activated.

6. Order Stacking - Any strategy that incorporates and transmits the stacking of orders on the same side of a particular underlying should minimize transmitting those that are not immediately marketable until the orders which have a greater likelihood of interacting with the NBBO have executed.

7. Use of IB Order Types - as the revision logic embedded within IB-supported order types is not considered an order action for the purposes of the OER, consideration should be given to using IB order types, whenever practical, as opposed to replicating such logic within the client order management logic. Logic which is commonly initiated by clients and whose behavior can be readily replicated by IB order types include: the dynamic management of orders expressed in terms of an options implied volatility (Volatility Orders), orders to set a stop price at a fixed amount relative to the market price (Trailing Stop Orders), and orders designed to automatically maintain a limit price relative to the NBBO (Pegged-to-Market Orders).

The above is not intended to be an exhaustive list of steps for optimizing one's orders but rather those which address the most frequently observed inefficiencies in client order management logic, are relatively simple to implement and which provide the opportunity for substantive and enduring improvements. For further information or questions, please contact the Customer Service Technical Assistance Center.

 

List of Chinese Stocks Subject to Increased Margin Requirements

Übersicht: 

As a result of elevated risk concerns, the list of stocks below are subject to an increased 'house' margin requirement of 100% (i.e. no loan value). Note that this list may be subject to periodic updates.

 

ISSUER NAME   SYMBOL   PRIMARY LISTING EXCHANGE
3SBIO INC-ADR  SSRX  NASDAQ
AAA ENERGY INC  AAV  FWB
ABRA MINING LTD AII ASX
ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC-ADR  ATV  NYSE
ACTIONS SEMICONDUCTOR CO-ADR  ACTS  NASDAQ
AGRIA CORP - ADR  GRO  NYSE
AIRMEDIA GROUP INC-ADR  AMCN  NASDAQ
AIRTAC INTERNATIONAL GROUP  1590 TAI
AMBOW EDUCATION HOLDING-ADR  AMBO  NYSE
ANDATEE CHINA MARINE FUEL SE  AF0  SWB
ANDATEE CHINA MARINE FUEL SE  AMCF  NASDAQ
APOLLO SOLAR ENERGY INC  FXA  SWB
A-POWER ENERGY GENERATION  APWR  NASDAQ
A-POWER ENERGY GENERATION  4OS  FWB
ASIAINFO-LINKAGE INC ASIA NASDAQ
ASIAINFO-LINKAGE INC  AFB  IBIS
ATA INC-ADR  ATAI  NASDAQ
BCD SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFA-ADR  BCDS  NASDAQ
BIOSTAR PHARMACEUTICALS INC  7BN  SWB
BIOSTAR PHARMACEUTICALS INC  BSPM  NASDAQ
BITAUTO HOLDINGS LTD-ADR  BITA  NYSE
BODISEN BIOTECH INC  DZ9  FWB
BOHAI PHARMACEUTICALS GROUP  3B2  SWB
BONA FILM GROUP LTD-SPON ADR  BONA  NASDAQ
BOYUAN CONSTRUCTION GROUP IN  BOY  TSE
CAMELOT INFORMATION SYS-ADS CIS NYSE
CHANGYOU.COM LTD-ADR  CYOU  NASDAQ
CHARM COMMUNICATIONS INC-ADR  CHRM  NASDAQ
CHEMSPEC INTL LTD - ADR  CPC  NYSE
CHINA 3C GROUP  GXS  SWB
CHINA BAK BATTERY INC  B6J  FWB
CHINA BAK BATTERY INC  CBAK  NASDAQ
CHINA CABLECOM HOLDINGS LTD  CCUN  IBIS
CHINA CABLECOM HOLDINGS LTD  CABL  NASDAQ
CHINA CENTURY DRAGON MEDIA I  ZDR  SWB
CHINA CERAMICS CO LTD  CCCLU  NASDAQ
CHINA CERAMICS CO LTD  C9E  SWB
CHINA CGAME INC  CA6N  IBIS
CHINA CGAME INC  CCGM  NASDAQ
CHINA DASHENG BIOTECHNOLOGY  16D  FWB
CHINA DIGITAL TV HOLDING-ADR  STV  NYSE
CHINA DISTANCE EDUCATION-ADR  DL  NYSE
CHINA ENERGY CORP  ZCE  SWB
CHINA ENERGY RECOVERY INC CNI FWB
CHINA FINANCE ONLINE CO-ADR  JRJC  NASDAQ
CHINA GENGSHENG MINERALS INC  CGS  FWB
CHINA GRENTECH CORP LTD-ADR  GRRF  NASDAQ
CHINA INDUSTRIAL WASTE MANAG GD9 TIQSSWB
CHINA KANGTAI CACTUS BIO-TEC IWN1 FWB
CHINA LINEN TEXTILE INDUSTRY C60 SWB
CHINA MASS MEDIA CORP-ADR  CMM  NYSE
CHINA MEDICAL TECH-SPON ADR  CMED  NASDAQ
CHINA MEDICINE CORP  XM2  SWB
CHINA NEPSTAR CHAIN DRUG-ADR  NPD  NYSE
CHINA NUOKANG BIO-PH-SP ADR  NKBP  NASDAQ
CHINA ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN  4CA  FWB
CHINA POWER EQUIPMENT INC  5XP  TIQSSWB
CHINA REDSTONE GROUP INC RS0 SWB
CHINA RITAR POWER CORP  YXC  SWB
CHINA RUNJI CEMENT INC WRJ SWB
CHINA SHENGDA PACKAGING GROU  0CH  FWB
CHINA SHENGDA PACKAGING GROU  CPGI  NASDAQ
CHINA SHENGHUO PHARMACEUTICA  54C  IBIS
CHINA SHENGHUO PHARMACEUTICA  KUN  AMEX
CHINA SHUANGJI CEMENT LTD  C99N  FWB
CHINA SOLAR & CLEAN ENERGY S NCS2 FWB
CHINA SUN GROUP HIGH-TECH CO BP7 FWB
CHINA SUNERGY CO LTD-ADR  CSUN  NASDAQ
CHINA TECHFAITH WIRELESS-ADR  CNTF  NASDAQ
CHINA TMK BATTERY SYSTEMS IN T35 SWB
CHINA WATER GROUP INC  DI1  FWB
CHINA XD PLASTICS CO LTD  02Y  FWB
CHINA XINIYA FASHIO-SPON ADR  XNY  NYSE
CHINA ZENIX AUTO INTERNA-ADR  ZX  NYSE
CHINACACHE INTERNAT-SPON ADR  CCIH  NASDAQ
CHINAEDU CORP-ADR  CEDU  NASDAQ
CLEANTECH SOLUTIONS INTERNAT CLNT NASDAQ
CLEANTECH SOLUTIONS INTERNAT CWZN FWB
CNINSURE INC-ADR CISG NASDAQ
CONCORD MEDICAL - SPON ADR  CCM  NYSE
COUNTRY STYLE COOKI-SPON ADR  CCSC  NYSE
DAQO NEW ENERGY CORP-ADR  DQ  NYSE
DEHAIER MEDICAL SYSTEMS LTD  J8D  FWB
DEHAIER MEDICAL SYSTEMS LTD  DHRM  NASDAQ
DUOYUAN PRINTING INC DPT FWB
EASTERN ENVIRONMENT SOLUTION V5E SWB
E-COMMERCE CHINA-SPON ADR  DANG  NYSE
EFUTURE INFORMATION TECHNOLO  4EF  FWB
ELONG INC-SPONSORED ADR  LONG  NASDAQ
ETERNAL TECHNOLOGIES GROUP  ETO  FWB
FORLINK SOFTWARE CORP  YNO1  FWB
FUNTALK CHINA HOLDINGS LTD  FTLK  NASDAQ
FUQI INTERNATIONAL INC 3F6A IBIS
FUWEI FILMS HOLDINGS CO LTD  F4B  IBIS
GC CHINA TURBINE CORP 7GC SWB
GLG LIFE TECH CORPORATION  GLG  TSE
GLOBAL EDUCATION & TECH-ADR  GEDU  NASDAQ
GOLD HORSE INTERNATIONAL INC 0GH SWB
GUSHAN ENVIRONMENTAL ENE-ADR  GU  NYSE
HANGFENG EVERGREEN INC  HF  TSE
HARTCOURT COMPANIES INC  HCT  SWB
HIGHPOWER INTERNATIONAL INC  HKN  SWB
HIGHPOWER INTERNATIONAL INC  HPJ  NASDAQ
HISOFT TECHNOLOGY INT-ADR  HSFT  NASDAQ
HOLLYSYS AUTOMATION TECHNOLO  46H  FWB
HOLLYSYS AUTOMATION TECHNOLO  HOLI  NASDAQ
IFM INVESTMENTS LTD-ADS  CTC  NYSE
ITONIS INC  IX2  IBIS
JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD-ADR JASO NASDAQ
JADE ART GROUP INC JAC SWB
JIAYUAN.COM INTERNATIONA-ADR  DATE  NASDAQ
JINGWEI INTERNATIONAL LTD  WJI  SWB
JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO-ADR JKS NYSE
JINPAN INTERNATIONAL LTD  3QN  FWB
JINPAN INTERNATIONAL LTD  JST  NASDAQ
KANDI TECHNOLOGIES CORP  K8A  FWB
KINGTONE WIRELESSINFO SO-ADR  KONE  NASDAQ
KU6 MEDIA CO LTD-SPN ADR  KUTV  NASDAQ
LDK SOLAR CO LTD -ADR LDK NYSE
LEGEND MEDIA INC LM2 SWB
LENTUO INTERNATI-SPON ADS  LAS  NYSE
LINKWELL CORP  LHX  SWB
LIZHAN ENVIRONMENTAL CORP  LZEN  NASDAQ
MECOX LANE LTD-ADR  MCOX  NASDAQ
MIGAO CORPORATION  MGO  TSE
MINCO SILVER CORPORATION  MSV  TSE
MINDRAY MEDICAL INTL LTD-ADR MR NYSE
NETQIN MOBILE INC - ADR  NQ  NYSE
NEW DRAGON ASIA CORP  BQ4  IBIS
NOAH EDUCATION HOLDINGS-ADR  NED  NYSE
ORIGIN AGRITECH LTD  39O  SWB
ORIGIN AGRITECH LTD  SEED  NASDAQ
ORSUS XELENT TECHNOLOGIES IN  O5X  FWB
ORSUS XELENT TECHNOLOGIES IN  ORS  AMEX
OSSEN INNOVATION CO-SPON ADR  OSN  NASDAQ
PHOENIX NEW MEDIA LTD -ADS  FENG  NYSE
PRIME ACQUISITION CORP  PACQ  NASDAQ
PRIME ACQUISITION CORP  PACQU  NASDAQ
QIAO XING MOBILE COMMUNICATI  F2A  IBIS
QIAO XING MOBILE COMMUNICATI  QXM  NYSE
QIAO XING UNIVERSAL RESOURCE  QXU  FWB
QIAO XING UNIVERSAL RESOURCE  XING  NASDAQ
RDA MICROELECTRON-SPON ADR  RDA  NASDAQ
RECON TECHNOLOGY LTD HRC FWB
RECON TECHNOLOGY LTD  RCON  NASDAQ
RENESOLA LTD-ADR SOL NYSE
SANCON RESOURCES RECOVERY IN FTVA SWB
SEARCHMEDIA HOLDINGS LTD  IDI  AMEX
SEARCHMEDIA HOLDINGS LTD-UTS  IDI U  AMEX
SGOCO GROUP LTD  SGOC  NASDAQ
SHANGPHARMA CORP-ADR  SHP  NYSE
SHENGTAI PHARMACEUTICAL INC ESZ SWB
SINA CORP  YIN  FWB
SINO GAS & ENERGY HOLDINGS L  SEH  ASX
SINO GAS INTERNATIONAL HOLDI QGS SWB
SINOBIOMED INC  G8U  FWB
SINOHUB INC  7S3  FWB
SINOTECH ENERGY LTD-SPON ADR  CTE  NASDAQ
SINOVAC BIOTECH LTD  SVQ  FWB
SINOVAC BIOTECH LTD  SVA  NASDAQ
SKY DIGITAL STORES CORP  YN3  FWB
SKY-MOBI LTD-SP ADR  MOBI  NASDAQ
SKYSTAR BIO-PHARMACEUTICAL  GNJC  FWB
SOHU.COM INC  XOU  FWB
SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS-ADR STP NYSE
SYSWIN INC-SPON ADS  SYSW  NYSE
TAL EDUCATION GROUP- ADR  XRS  NYSE
TAOMEE HOLDINGS LTD-SP ADR TAOM NYSE
TELESTONE TECHNOLOGIES CORP  MSOA  FWB
THE9 LTD-ADR  NCTY  NASDAQ
TIANLI AGRITECH INC  7TA  FWB
TIANLI AGRITECH INC  OINK  NASDAQ
TIBET PHARMACEUTICALS INC  TXP  SWB
TIBET PHARMACEUTICALS INC  TBET  NASDAQ
TRINA SOLAR LTD-SPON ADR TSL NYSE
TRI-TECH HOLDING INC  TTW  FWB
TRI-TECH HOLDING INC  TRIT  NASDAQ
TRUNKBOW INTERNATIONAL HOLDI  TBJ  IBIS
TRUNKBOW INTERNATIONAL HOLDI  TBOW  NASDAQ
U.S. CHINA MINING GROUP INC RJ2B SWB
UTSTARCOM INC  UTS  FWB
UTSTARCOM INC  UTSI  NASDAQ
UTSTARCOM INC  UTSI  MEXI
VIMICRO INTERNATIONAL CO-ADR  VIMC  NASDAQ
VISIONCHINA MEDIA INC-ADR  VISN  NASDAQ
WSP HOLDINGS LTD-ADR  WH  NYSE
XINHUA CHINA LTD  X5R  IBIS
XINYINHAI TECHNOLOGY LTD 3XI SWB
XINYUAN REAL ESTATE CO L-ADR  XIN  NYSE
YAYI INTERNATIONAL INC  8YJ  SWB
YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLD-ADR YGE NYSE
YOUKU.COM INC-SPON ADR YOKU NYSE
YUCHENG TECHNOLOGIES LTD  YCT  SWB
YUCHENG TECHNOLOGIES LTD  YTEC  NASDAQ
ZHENG HE GLOBAL CAPITAL LTD  ZHE  ASX
ZHONGPIN INC  CWP  FWB
ZOOM TECHNOLOGIES INC  ZT2A  FWB
ZUOAN FASHION LTD-SPON ADR  ZA  NYSE

Overview of SEC Fees

Under Section 31 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, U.S. national securities exchanges are obligated to pay transaction fees to the SEC based on the volume of securities that are sold on their markets. Exchange rules require their broker-dealer members to pay a share of these fees who, in turn, pass the responsibility of paying the fees to their customers.

This fee is intended to allow the SEC to recover costs associated with its supervision and regulation of the U.S. securities markets and securities professionals. It applies to stocks, options and single stock futures (on a round turn basis); however, IB does not pass on the fee in the case of single stock futures trades.  Note that this fee is assessed only to the sale side of security transactions, thereby applying to the grantor of an option (fee based upon the option premium received at time of sale) and the exerciser of a put or call assignee (fee based upon option strike price).

For the fiscal year 2015 the fee was assessed at a rate of $0.0000184 per $1.00 of sales proceeds, however, the rate is subject to annual and,in some cases, mid-year adjustments should realized transaction volume generate fees sufficiently below or in excess of targeted funding levels.1

Examples of the transactions impacted by this fee and sample calculations are outlined in the table below.

Transaction

Subject to Fee?

Example

Calculation

Stock Purchase

No

N/A

N/A

Stock Sale (cost plus commission option)

Yes

Sell 1,000 shares MSFT@ $25.87

$0.0000184 * $25.87 * 1,000 = $0.476008

Call Purchase

No

N/A

N/A

Put Purchase

No

N/A

N/A

Call Sale

Yes

Sell 10 MSFT June ’11 $25 calls @ $1.17

$0.0000184 * $1.17 * 100 * 10 = $0.021528

Put Sale

Yes

Sell 10 MSFT June ’11 $25 puts @ $0.41

$0.0000184 * $0.41 * 100 * 10 = $0.007544

Call Exercise

No

N/A

N/A

Put Exercise

Yes

Exercise of 10 MSFT June ’11 $25 puts

$0.0000184 * $25.00 * 100 * 10 = $0.46

Call Assignment

Yes

Assignment of 10 MSFT June ’11 $25 calls

$0.0000184 * $25.00 * 100 * 10 = $0.46

Put Assignment

No

N/A

N/A

 

1Information regarding current Section 31 fees may be found on the SEC's Frequently Requested Documents page located at: http://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/mrfreqreq.shtml#feerate

 

 

FAQs - U.S. Securities Option Expiration

Übersicht: 

The following page has been created in attempt to assist traders by providing answers to frequently asked questions related to US security option expiration, exercise, and assignment.  Please feel free to contact us if your question is not addressed on this page or to request the addition of a question and answer. 

Click on a question in the table of contents to jump to the question in this document.

Table Of Contents:

How do I provide exercise instructions?

Do I have to notify IB if I want my long option exercised?

What if I have a long option which I do not want exercised?

What can I do to prevent the assignment of a short option?

Is it possible for a short option which is in-the-money not to be assigned?

Can IB exercise the out-of-the-money long leg of my spread position only if my in-the-money short leg is assigned?

What happens to my long stock position if a short option which is part of a covered write is assigned?

Am I charged a commission for exercise or assignments?

What happens if I am unable to meet the margin requirement on a stock delivery resulting from an option exercise or assignment?

 

Q&A:

How do I provide exercise instructions?
Instructions are to be entered through the TWS Option Exercise window. Procedures for exercising an option using the IB Trader Workstation can be found in the TWS User's Guide.

Important Note: In the event that an option exercise cannot be submitted via the TWS, an option exercise request with all pertinent details (including option symbol, account number and exact quantity), should be created in a ticket via the Account Management window. In the Account Management window, click on "Inquiry/Problem Ticket". The ticket should include the words "Option Exercise Request" in the subject line. Please provide a contact number and clearly state in your ticket why the TWS Option Exercise window was not available for use.

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Do I have to notify IB if I want my long option exercised?

In the case of exchange listed U.S. securities options, the clearinghouse (OCC) will automatically exercise all cash and physically settled options which are in-the-money by at least $0.01 at expiration (e.g., a call option having a strike price of $25.00 will be automatically exercised if the stock price is $25.01 or more and a put option having a strike price of $25.00 will be automatically exercised if the stock price is $24.99 or less). In accordance with this process, referred to as exercise by exception, account holders are not required to provide IB with instructions to exercise any long options which are in-the-money by at least $0.01 at expiration. 

Important Note: in certain situations (e.g., underlying stock halt, corporate action), OCC may elect to remove a particular class of options from the exercise by exception process, thereby requiring the account holder to provide positive notice of their intent to exercise their long option contracts regardless of the extent they may be in-the-money. In these situations, IB will make every effort to provide advance notice to the account holder of their obligation to respond, however, account holders purchasing such options on the last day of trading are not likely to be afforded any notice.

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What if I have a long option which I do not want exercised?
If a long option is not in-the-money by at least $0.01 at expiration it will not be automatically exercised by OCC. If it is in-the-money by at least that amount and you do not wish to have it exercised, you would need to provide IB with contrary instructions to let the option lapse. These instructions would need to be entered through the TWS Option Exercise window prior to the deadline as stated on the IB website.

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What can I do to prevent the assignment of a short option?
The only action one can take to prevent being assigned on a short option position is to buy back in the option prior to the close of trade on its last trading day (for equity options this is usually the Friday preceding the expiration date). When you sell an option, you provided the purchaser with the right to exercise which they generally will do if the option is in-the-money at expiration.

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Is it possible for a short option which is in-the-money not to be assigned?
While is unlikely that holders of in-the-money long options will elect to let the option lapse without exercising them, certain holders may do so due to transaction costs or risk considerations. In conjunction with its expiration processing, OCC will assign option exercises to short position holders via a random lottery process which, in turn, is applied by brokers to their customer accounts. It is possible through these random processes that short positions in your account be part of those which were not assigned.

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Can IB exercise the out-of-the-money long leg of my spread position only if my in-the-money short leg is assigned?
No. There is no provision for issuing conditional exercise instructions to OCC. OCC determines the assignment of options based upon a random process which is initiated only after the deadline for submitting all exercise instructions has ended. In order to avoid the delivery of a long or short underlying stock position when only the short leg of an option spread is in-the-money at expiration, the account holder would need to either close out that short position or consider exercising an at-the-money long option.

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What happens to my long stock position if a short option which is part of a covered write is assigned?
If the short call leg of a covered write position is assigned, the long stock position will be applied to satisfy the stock delivery obligation on the short call. The price at which that long stock position will be closed out is equal to the short call option strike price.

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Am I charged a commission for exercise or assignments?
There is no commissions charged as the result of the delivery of a long or short position resulting from option exercise or assignment of a U.S. security option (note that this is not always the case for non-U.S. options).

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What happens if I am unable to meet the margin requirement on a stock delivery resulting from an option exercise or assignment?
If an option exercise or assignment results in the delivery of a long or short stock position and the account holder does not maintain sufficient equity to meet the ensuing margin requirement, IB will act to liquidate positions to restore margin compliance. While IB retains the right to liquidate at any time in such situations, liquidations involving U.S. security positions will typically begin at approximately 9:40 AM ET as of the business day following expiration.

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