Definitions for over-the-counter
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word over-the-counter
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
not listed on or transacted through an organized securities exchange:
sold legally without a prescription:
Origin of over-the-counter:
purchasable without a doctor's prescription
"nonprescription drugs"; "an over-the-counter cold remedy"
(of securities) not traded on a stock exchange
Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary
(of medication) that can be bought without a prescription from a doctor
over-the-counter cough medicine
Legal for sale or distribution without the requirement of a prescription (of medicine and other treatments); abbreviated as OTC.
Direct interaction between two parties without an intermediary. Thus, any market where items such as stocks or currency are bought and sold at a distance, rather than on the exchange.
Origin: over + the + counter
Over-the-counter or off-exchange trading is done directly between two parties, without any supervision of an exchange. It is contrasted with exchange trading, which occurs via these facilities. An exchange has the benefit of facilitating liquidity, mitigates all credit risk concerning the default of one party in the transaction, provides transparency, and maintains the current market price. In an OTC trade, the price is not necessarily made public information. OTC trading, as well as exchange trading, occurs with commodities, financial instruments, and derivatives of such. Products traded on the exchange must be well standardized. This means that exchanged deliverables match a narrow range of quantity, quality, and identity which is defined by the exchange and identical to all transactions of that product. This is necessary for there to be transparency in trading. The OTC market does not have this limitation. They may agree on an unusual quantity, for example. In OTC market contracts are bilateral, each party could have credit risk concerns with respect to the other party. OTC derivative market is significant in some asset classes: interest rate, foreign exchange, equities, and commodities.
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"over-the-counter." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/over-the-counter>.