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Warrants are financial products issued over underlying securities (such as shares or exchange traded funds) that trade on the ASX. Some warrants give the holder the right to buy or sell an underlying instrument (for example, a share) for the price set in the terms of issue. Others entitle the holder to receive a cash payment that relates to the value of the underlying instrument at a particular time (for example, index warrants).


Warrants are available in a variety of structures that have different terms, risk profiles, underlying assets, maturity dates and exercise prices. Some warrants may also be used to provide gearing within a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), allowing the SMSF to gain exposure to a larger parcel of shares than it could obtain by investing directly.

Key features

  • Geared investment – spend less of your own money while gaining a larger parcel of securities than if you bought them outright. 

  • More time to decide – you can tap into rising or falling markets without committing all your capital, by buying a call or put warrant.

  • Potentially earn more income – enhance your income through instalment warrants, which can allow you to receive full dividends (or distributions) and franking credits while only paying a fraction of the cost upfront.

  • Gain protection – protect your portfolio from falling markets by hedging with a put warrant that locks in a selling price for your existing portfolio.

  • No margin calls – generally, there are no margin calls on warrants. 


To trade options you must have a Westpac Share Trading account for Australian shares. To set up an options trading account, simply sign in to your Westpac Share Trading account and visit Products & Services > Derivatives > Options.


Warrants can usually be split into the following two categories.

Investment warrants 

These are suitable for investors seeking a medium to long-term exposure and can offer additional benefits such as protection of the value of the underlying asset. Examples of investment warrants include instalment warrants and endowments.  

Trading warrants

Trading warrants tend have a higher risk than investment warrants and are more suited to investors who are willing to take higher risks in return for the prospect of better returns. Examples of trading warrants include call and put warrants, knock-out warrants and MINIs.

Key risks

You should only trade warrants if you are confident that you understand the risks involved and have adequate financial resources. Some of the key risks include: 

  • Issuer risk – the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Cboe Australia and Westpac Share Trading provide a platform for trading warrants, but do not guarantee the performance of the warrant issuer or the warrants issued. Each warrant is a contract between the warrant issuer and you. Therefore, you are exposed to the risk that the issuer will not perform its obligations under the warrant.

  • General market risk – the market price of warrants is affected by the same risks that affect all stock market investments, including movements in domestic and international markets.

  • Leverage risk – gearing can magnify your losses as well as your gains. If the price of the underlying security falls, the price of the warrant may fall at a greater rate, and you may risk losing some or all of the money you invested. The gearing level may change materially as the price of the underlying securities and the loan amount change throughout the term. If the price of the underlying security falls, the price of the warrant will generally fall.

  • Early termination or expiry – the completion date for a warrant may be brought forward when an ‘extraordinary event’ occurs (for example, the underlying securities are subject to a buy-back offer, a takeover bid, a scheme of arrangement or a demerger). 

  • Legislative tax change – new laws could be passed that affect the tax treatment or obligations of instalment holders.


Each warrant is different. This information only covers some general features and is not a summary. Read the issuer’s product disclosure statement, or equivalent disclosure document, before making a decision.


Read the Understanding Warrants booklet issued by the ASX (851KB PDF), and the Investing in Warrants (1,857KB PDF) booklet issued by Cboe for more details.


To trade warrants you must have a Westpac Share Trading account and have completed a Warrant Agreement Form

Things you should know

Westpac Securities Limited ABN 39 087 924 221, AFSL 233723 (‘Westpac Securities’) (trading as ‘Westpac Share Trading’) provides the opportunity to trade listed financial products through our arrangement with Australian Investment Exchange Limited ABN 71 076 515 930, AFSL 241400 (‘AUSIEX’), a wholly owned subsidiary of Nomura Research Institute, Ltd (‘NRI’). AUSIEX is a Market Participant of the ASX Limited (‘ASX’) and Cboe Australia Pty Ltd (‘Cboe’), a Clearing Participant of ASX Clear Pty Limited and a Settlement Participant of ASX Settlement Pty Limited. Neither AUSIEX nor Westpac Securities are representatives of each other. Westpac Securities is not a related party of AUSIEX, NRI, ASX or Cboe. Under this arrangement, all trading, clearing, settlement and stock sponsorship arrangements are directly with AUSIEX. AUSIEX is not authorised to carry on business in any jurisdiction other than Australia. Accordingly, the information contained in this website is directed to and available for Australian residents only.

You should read the Westpac Securities and AUSIEX Financial Services Guides (“FSGs”), which provide you with information on the services Westpac Securities and AUSIEX can provide. You can access the FSGs via

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