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English definition of “paper profit”

paper profit

noun [C or U]     (also paper gain) FINANCE
an increase in the value of an investment, etc. that appears in accounts, but that does not involve a real increase in cash, for example shares that have risen in value but that have not been sold: The company has 1 million share options which are showing a paper profit of about £135,000.
(Definition of paper profit noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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