Difference Between Right Shares and Bonus Shares

A company’s capital is usually divided into smaller shares of definite price and offered to the public for sale in a quest to raise funds from the market.

Through investing in the stock market, investors become shareholders of any given company through the purchase of specific stocks.

As a result, the investors are updated from time to time about the company’s decisions and an update on the right shares and bonus shares.

Right Shares vs Bonus Shares

The main difference between Right Shares and Bonus Shares is that the right shares are issued to the shareholders at a discounted rate. Bonus shares are issued to the shareholders for free of cost. Right shares are always paid fully or partly, whereas bonus shares are always paid fully.

Right Shares vs Bonus Shares

Right shares require a minimum subscription, but bonus shares do not require a minimum subscription.

Comparison Table Between Right Shares and Bonus Shares

Parameter of ComparisonRight SharesBonus Shares
PurposeThe aim is to raise additional capital for the company.The aim is to bring the share price down. Also, issued as alternative dividends payments to stakeholders.
PricePrice is issued at discounted prices.Price is issued to stakeholders free of cost.
Minimum SubscriptionRequires minimum subscription.Does not require a minimum subscription.
Creation and RenunciationCreated from additional shares and renounced either partially or fully.Created out of a company’s profit and lack renunciation options.
Share PriceShare price affected if the shareholders sell the shares to the open market.It lowers the share price according to the proportion.

What are Right Shares?

Right shares are shares issued to existing shareholders equal to their holdings within a specified period with the company aims to raise more capital from the market.

The company notifies its shareholders on their chance to trade the right shares with shareholders required to inform the company on their decision regarding the same.

Notably, the rights are transferable; hence, shareholders can decide on whether to purchase or sell off their rights in the open market to other investors either partially, or wholly.

What are Bonus Shares?

On the other hand, bonus shares are shares issued to an existing company’s shareholders based on specific proportions of their holdings offered at a free cost.

The bonus shares are a conversion of the accumulated earnings by a company given in the form of free shares and not in dividend form.

Notably, the bonus shares inject no new capital to the company making the company’s net worth remain the same. However, shareholders are allowed to sell their shares to make quick profits or preserve them for future gains.

bonus shares

Main Differences Between Right Shares and Bonus Shares

While the two terms are closely related, there are significant differences between them. Foremost, the right shares are available to the existing shareholders equal to their holdings that can be brought at a permanent price, within a defined timeline.

However, the bonus shares are only issued by the firm free of cost to the existing shareholders, but they are given according to their holdings out of accumulated profits and reserves.

The other differences are found in their purpose, price, creation and renunciation, minimum subscription, and the share price.

The following is a discussion of the key differences between the right shares and bonus shares.


A company offers the right shares in a quest to raise additional funds for the firm from the market. Companies use the raised funds in acquiring assets repayment of debts, corporate expansion, and takeover, among other activities.

Right shares are a better escape for companies from the fangs of high-interest bank loans.

On the other hand, bonus shares are offered by a company in a quest to increase active trading through the increase of the outstanding number of the company’s shares in the market.

Bonus shares are known to bring the market price of the company’s shares within an attractive range. Bonus shares also are key in helping the company avoid cash outflows in the form of dividends.


While the right shares are issued at discounted prices, the bonus shares are issued free of charge. The discounted prices while offering the right shares mean that the shares are offered to shareholders at a price lower than the market price.

Notably, the right shares are either partially or fully paid up.

However, this depends on the proportion of the paid-up value of equity shares in case further issues take place. On the other hand, unlike the right shares, the bonus shares are always fully paid up.

Minimum Subscription

While purchasing the right shares, you will be required to meet the minimum subscription stipulated by the company.

The mandatory minimum subscription follows the objective of the company by the provision of the right shares which is the generation of additional capital.

On the other hand, bonus shares require no minimum subscription from shareholders.

Creation and Renunciation

The right shares are additional shares created by a company in a quest to raise additional funds. Notably, the renunciation of the right shares can be done partially or fully.

On the other hand, bonus shares are created out of profits and reserves accumulated by a company. Unlike the right shares, bonus shares have no renunciation options.

Share Price

When it comes to the right shares, the share price might plunge due to the sale of the right shares to the open market whose price is always discounted.

Additionally, it sends an alert to the market that the subject company might be in trouble, and it might require to find new capital.

On the other hand, the dilution of bonus shares will bring the share price down for a short period. In most of the cases during the dilution of the bonus shares, the investors are likely to lose or gain nothing.

Difference Between Right Shares and Bonus Shares

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Right Shares and Bonus Shares

Do bonus shares have voting rights?

Bonus shares are issued to the already existing shareholders of a company. The class of bonus stocks given is entirely dependent on the class of already existing stocks. If already existing stocks have voting rights then only bonus shares will have voting rights, otherwise not.

What happens to share price when bonus shares are issued?

Bonus shares are basically the extra shares that are gifted by a company to its shareholders. A share price falls down when bonus shares are issued. Suppose an investor has 50 shares of $500 and the company issues him 1:1 bonus shares. The number of shares would become 100 but the cost would remain the same i.e. $500.
But the price per share would be reduced. Earlier it was $10 per share but now it has become $5 per share.

Who can issue bonus shares?

Companies frequently release bonus shares, even if they do not face a scarcity of liquid funds.
Once the bonus shares are issued the company’s share capital goes up however amount available to the company under reserve goes down according to the amount of the issued bonus shares.
This strategy is called the capitalization of reserves.
The reason most of the companies release these bonus shares is to try to encourage more retail participation in equities. It is hard for retail investors to invest in a company when its price per share is too high. Releasing bonus shares reduces the price per share of the same stock. A retail investor can easily enter the market at a lower rate that way.

Does a bonus share reduce share price?

Yes, a bonus share reduces the share price. The share price reduces in the same proportion as the bonus share issued.

Is dividend paid on the right shares?

The dividend is a return on the financial investment made in the share resources of a firm. The only factor that determines if one is entitled to receive the final/interim dividend is record date.
The dividend is required to be approved by the board of directors of the company and the person who holds the shares on the record date is eligible for a dividend.


Through the above comparison between the right shares and bonus shares, one can easily tell the significant differences between the two terms.

The most significant difference between the right shares and bonus shares is enshrined with the purpose and terms applied to each.

While the right shares come with the sale of shares in the primary market by issuing them to current shareholders, bonus shares are a dividend payment form by companies to shareholders.

Key Differences Between Right Shares and Bonus Shares (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Right Shares and Bonus Shares


  1. https://www.actuaries.org.uk/system/files/documents/pdf/0021-0090.pdf
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/338747
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Recently I had got bonus shares from my investment in share market and now I know how it differs from right shares issue.