An underwriter who agrees with the issuer of a security and its underwriters to be responsible for any unsold portion of the issue. That is, the underwriter agrees to buy the remainder of a new issue if it is unable to place its entirety with investors. This transfers the risk of the unsold portion of the issue from the issuer to the underwriter. This guarantees that the issuer will raise the capital it intends to raise, but leaves the underwriter with the possibility that it must purchase an issue with low value. As a result, standby underwriters charge a standby fee.
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