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Consider:

A premium of 0.2 per cent is to be added to the CIRRs when fixing at bid. Interest rates may not be fixed for longer than 120 days.

(Source)

Why can "a premium" act as the subject for "fixing at bid" in this "when" clause?

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You correctly discern a violation of formal grammar here. Formally, the omitted subject of the subordinate clause should be referable to the subject of the matrix clause; and as you observe, it would be nonsensical to suggest that the premium fixes.

However, it is a very minor violation, of a sort you will encounter frequently in commercial English. Everybody in the industry knows what fixing at bid means, so there is no ambiguity here. In fact, the matter arises precisely because fixing at bid has a sort of independent existence as a shorthand gerund phrase, and it happens to be difficult to fit that phrase gracefully into a when clause. I suggest you parse the sentence as if there has been a deletion of either the subject or the verb in the subordinate clause:

..., when the parties fix at bid.
..., when fixing at bid occurs.

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  • Thx for your consistent help! And I wonder if bid here stands for a formal occasion for bid.
    – Kinzle B
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 15:47
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    @ZhanlongZheng I'm not familiar with currency transactions; in the markets I'm familiar with bid means either "a price offered" or "the action of offering a price". My guess is that at bid here means something like on the occasion of offering or as a component of an offer. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 17:19
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"A premium" means "an extra" in this context. So this sentence basically means "Whatever the rate is usually, it will be 0.2% extra".

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  • thx, i know what premium means, but i just wonder what acts as the subject for "fixing at bid" here. Obviously premium cannot be the omitted subject for this when clause. i think it is grammatically wrong here.
    – Kinzle B
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 13:12

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