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- What is a Bond?
Bond is a debt instrument in which an investor loans money to an entity (typically corporate or government) which borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states and sovereign governments to raise money to finance a variety of projects and activities. Owners of bonds are debt holders, or creditors, of the issuer
- What is a Government Security (G-Sec)?
A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradeable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation. Such securities are short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more). In India, the Central Government issues both, treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs). G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.
- Treasury Bills (T-bills)
Treasury bills or T-bills, which are money market instruments, are short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India and are presently issued in three tenors, namely, 91 day, 182 day and 364 day. Treasury bills are zero coupon securities and pay no interest. They are issued at a discount and redeemed at the face value at maturity. For example, a 91 day Treasury bill of ₹100/- (face value) may be issued at say Rs 98.20, that is, at a discount of say, Rs1.80 and would be redeemed at the face value of Rs100/-. The return to the investors is the difference between the maturity value or the face value (that is Rs100) and the issue price.
- Cash Management Bills (CMBs)
In 2010, Government of India, in consultation with RBI introduced a new short-term instrument, known as Cash Management Bills (CMBs), to meet the temporary mismatches in the cash flow of the Government of India. The CMBs have the generic character of T-bills but are issued for maturities less than 91 days.
- Dated G-Secs
Dated G-Secs are securities which carry a fixed or floating coupon (interest rate) which is paid on the face value, on half-yearly basis. Generally, the tenor of dated securities ranges from 5 years to 40 years.
Fixed Rate Bonds – These are bonds on which the coupon rate is fixed for the entire life (i.e. till maturity) of the bond. Most Government bonds in India are issued as fixed rate bonds.
Floating Rate Bonds (FRB) – FRBs are securities which do not have a fixed coupon rate. The coupon is re-set at pre-announced intervals (say, every six months or one year) by adding a spread over a base rate. FRBs were first issued in September 1995 in India.
Zero Coupon Bonds – Zero coupon bonds are bonds with no coupon payments. However, like T- Bills, they are issued at a discount and redeemed at face value. The Government of India had issued such securities in the nineties, It has not issued zero coupon bonds after that.
Capital Indexed Bonds – These are bonds, the principal of which is linked to an accepted index of inflation with a view to protecting the Principal amount of the investors from inflation.
Inflation Indexed Bonds (IIBs) – IIBs are bonds wherein both coupon flows and Principal amounts are protected against inflation. The inflation index used in IIBs may be Whole Sale Price Index (WPI) or Consumer Price Index (CPI).
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