1 BASIC CONCEPTS1.1  Commodities  There are nineteen "commodities" in the game. These are the stuff that the companies use to make things and also the things they make (both raw materials and products).  Commodities are identified by two letter codes. The different commodities and the companies that produce them are shown in the commodities table (see reference section at end of rulebook).
1.2  Commodity Prices  Commodity prices vary from turn to turn in response to supply and demand. Prices rise when supply is short and demand is high (there is less of a commodity available than was wanted) and fall when supply is high and demand is short (there is more of a commodity available than was wanted). Commodity prices also have a built-in tendency to move back towards their original starting price. The "start prices" for a commodity are the original buy and sell prices at the start of the game (the ones given in the price table - see the separate sheet of reference tables).
1.3  Companies  There are three types of companies in the game. These are player companies, operating companies and service companies. Where these rules refer to "public companies" this means the trading and services companies (the ones whose shares can be bought and sold). Player companies are identified in orders by three letter codes. The operating and service companies are identified in orders by two letter codes.
1.4  Player Companies  Each player controls one "player company". Player companies are privately owned and don't issue any shares of their own (so you can't buy shares in a player company belonging to someone else). Your player company is your identity in the game and you make up a name for it when you first join. Player companies can buy and sell shares in other companies and can also buy and sell commodities.
1.5  Operating Companies  There are fifteen "operating companies". These are public companies whose shares can be bought and sold by other companies. Operating companies can buy and sell commodities and operate production lines to manufacture other commodities. They can also buy and sell shares in other companies. Each operating company is controlled by a Managing Director, who is one of the players appointed by a vote of the shareholders.
1.6  Service Companies  There are ten "service companies". These are public companies whose shares can be bought and sold but they can't be controlled by other companies (you only buy and sell the shares and collect dividends). They do no trading, in either shares or commodities. Each of the service companies is linked to some activity in the game and collects income from the actions of other companies.
1.7  Asset Values  The asset value of a company is the sum of its bank balance and the value of all the commodities held, the value of any shares held in other companies, the value of any plant installed in their production lines, the surrender value of any imports or exports and half the stores capacity, less the value of any current loans. Shares and commodities are valued at 80% of their current prices.
1.8  Company Profits  The profit made by a company each turn is the difference between the asset value of the company at the start of the turn and the end of the turn.
1.9  Quarterly Profits  The quarterly profit of a company is the average profit over the previous four turns (not including the current turn). Dividends are based on quarterly profits.
Note: The quarterly profit isn't actually quarterly at all. It's just a convenient name.
1.10  Dividends  A dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders. Each company may pay out a proportion of profits each turn, divided equally among all the shares issued. In theory people buy shares in order to collect dividends, but in practice people usually buy shares to speculate over changes in the share price. In Speculate the value of dividends is often higher than in real life.