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Definition: Holding gain (loss)


A holding gain (loss) is realized when an asset that has increased (decreased) in value due to holding gains (losses) since the beginning of the accounting period is sold, redeemed, used or otherwise disposed of, or a liability incorporating a holding gain or loss is repaid. An unrealized holding gain is one accruing on an asset that is still owned or a liability that is still outstanding at the end of the accounting period (SNA 2008, § 12.80).

Positive or negative holding gains may accrue during the accounting period to the owners of financial and non-financial assets and liabilities as a result of a change in their prices (holding gains are sometimes referred to as "capital gains") (SNA 1993, § 3.62). United Nations, "System of National Accounts (SNA) 1993", United Nations, New York, 1993
European Commission (Eurostat), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations (Statistics Division), World Bank, "System of National Accounts 2008", United Nations, New York, 2009