Choosing your stock order
Published on September 29, 2022
The stock market is a regulated market that serves as a meeting place for companies and investors. These investors may buy or sell shares that represent a fraction of the capital of the companies in question. If you are a Shareholder wishing to buy or sell shares on the stock market, you must choose which type of stock order to place.
What is a stock order?
A stock order is the instruction you give your financial intermediary to buy or sell a stock. The order determines the quantity of shares and the price at which you want to buy or sell them. If you are a direct registered Shareholder of the Group, you should send your order to Air Liquide; if you are an intermediary registered or bearer Shareholder, please send the order to your bank.
What are the main types of stock order?
There are many types of order to buy and sell shares, and some are more complex than others. At Air Liquide, we offer three different types of order to our direct registered Shareholders:
"Market price" order
You buy or sell a share without adding price conditions. This means you do not specify a price limit. Your purchase or sale order will be executed regardless of the share price at the time you wish to place it. It has priority over all other types of order and is executed immediately and in full.
"Limit price" order
You set a maximum buy price or a minimum sell price for your shares by indicating your limit price. The order is executed only when:
- the price is below or equal to this limit for buying; or
- the price is above or equal to this limit for selling
The order may be partially executed if the quantity of tradable securities on the market is not available at the set limit price. You can choose an order validity of up to two months.
"Best price" order
You do not specify a price. The order will be executed at the best available price when it reaches the market, whether for buying or selling. The order may be partially executed if the quantity of tradable securities on the market is not available at this best price. You can choose an order validity of up to two months.
For a better understanding, let us look at an example. When you place a stock order, it is added to the order book containing all orders placed on a particular stock.
Here is an example of an order book:
Interpretation of each order in this order book:
"Market price" order: If you are a direct registered Shareholder and you request to buy 100 shares, without specifying the maximum price, Air Liquide will buy these 100 shares from the people who are selling them at that time, regardless of the price. In our example: 50 shares are available at 118.16 euros and 50 more at 118.18 euros. Air Liquide will therefore buy these 100 shares for you at an average price of 118.17 euros.
"Limit price" order: If you are a direct registered Shareholder and want to buy 100 shares at 118.16 euros, you place a "limit price" order at this price. Air Liquide places your request with the specified limit of 118.16 euros. In the example, since only 50 shares are available at your price limit, your order will be executed in multiple stages:
- an initial purchase of the 50 shares available when your order reaches the market
- then a subsequent purchase of the remaining 50 shares, provided they become available at 118.16 euros before the order validity expires
"Best price" order: You want to buy 100 shares at the best price. When you place your order, the best price for your purchase is 118.16 euros. Air Liquide will therefore buy the 50 shares available at this price and then wait until 50 more shares become available at this price within the order validity. The difference with the "limit price" order is that the limit price was not determined by you, but by the market supply at the time the order was executed.
For more information, please consult our Shareholder’s factsheets 2022