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What are Bonds?

Bonds are generally issued by an organisation falling in the private or government category to raise funds to accomplish one or more purposes. Bonds have been around for more than a century and have proven to be a reliable way to invest money for a certain period.

Bonds are relatively safe investment options that yield a fixed income. It works as an additional source of income for an investor. The rate of interest is paid annually. In some case, the interest is also paid monthly.

Bondindia
Bondindia

The global bond market had
a total outstanding value of
$123.5 trillion
(₹ 9,44,32,66,95,00,00,000.00)

Bondindia

The size of the Indian bond market stood at
$2 trillion
(₹ 15,29,27,40,00,00,000.00)

as of 2020

The global bond market had
a total outstanding value of
$123.5 trillion
(₹ 9,44,32,66,95,00,00,000.00)

as of 2021

The size of the Indian bond market stood at
$2 trillion
(₹ 15,29,27,40,00,00,000.00)

As a common man and non-expert, you might be wondering, “What are Bonds?” Well, there is no need to wonder. Here is a quick explainer for bonds.

A bond is a debt security representing a loan to the issuer, typically a government entity or corporation.

Bonds are used by companies, central government, and municipalities to finance their projects.

The borrower pays the lender a fixed interest rate and the par value upon maturity.

Consider it similar to taking out a personal loan from a bank, but you are the lender (investor), and the borrower is usually a government or organisation (issuer).

  • Bonds are fixed-income instruments since the interest payments are generally made at regular intervals and are predictable.
  • Bonds are a good investment option for both the economy and investors.
  • It aids the growth of a country’s economy by providing funding for the government and company’s expenses.
  • For investors, it gives insurance against inflation and stock market swings.
  • Furthermore, purchasing a bond has fewer risks than other investments.

The Basics of bonds

‘Bonds’ are the commercial term. Understanding Bonds can be a daunting task for many of the common people. We at BondsIndia have strived to make the complex terms easy to understand for you. There are a few basic terms used commonly by the investors. You can have a close look at the basic terms for a better understanding.

Below are a few basic terms used in bonds:

Maturity

It is the date on which the bond issuer repays bond investors for the money they have lent them. Bonds come in various maturities: short, medium, and long.

Face value

It is often known as par value and is the amount of money the bond will be worth when it matures. The face value is also used to calculate interest payments payable to bondholders. The most frequent par value for bonds is Rs. 1,000.

Par/face value for a bond is ₹ 1000
Coupon

The fixed rate of interest paid by the bond issuer to its bondholders is known as the coupon.

So, if the coupon rate is 10% and the par value is Rs. 1000, the interest payment will be 1000*10% = Rs. 100.
Current Price

After the bonds have been issued, they are traded in the market. So the price at which they are quoted in the market is known as the current price.

Yield

The yield on the bond is the rate of return that an investor gets for holding the bond. While the coupon is fixed, the yield is variable and is determined by the secondary market price of the bond and other factors.
Current yield, yield to maturity, and yield to call are all types of yield.

The annual income (interest) from a bond is divided by the security’s current price to get the current yield.

Yield to maturity (YTM) refers to the rate of return that an investment will provide if held until its maturity date.

Yield to call (YTC) is the rate of return that a bondholder will receive if the bond is held until the call date, which happens before the maturity date.

Types of bonds

You might be wondering about the ‘’Types of bonds available in India’’ in which you can invest?

There are many different types of bonds available in the Indian market. They are classified on the basis of issuer, coupon rates, and tenure. Depending on the issued bonds, bonds come with varying interest rates and risks.

  • According to the issuer, bonds can be categorised into government, public sector undertakings (PSU) or corporate bonds.
  • According to the coupon, they can be fixed, floating or zero-coupon bonds.
  • Further, according to tenure, they can be categorised into short-term (1 to 5 years), intermediate-term (5 to 12 years), and long-term bonds (more than 12 years).

Different types of bonds

government BONDS

It is a debt security issued by the central or state government to raise money to fund projects.

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PSU BONDS

It is a medium or long-term debt issued by public sector companies to raise capital for projects.

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CORPORATE BONDS

It is the bond type issued by corporates to raise funds from investors. It is relatively safe investment.

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TAX FREE BONDS

It is issued by the government enterprises. The income generated by the interest is non-taxable.

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ZERO COUPONS

It is a debt security. It trades at a deep discount and does not pay interest during the bond life.

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CONVERTIBLE BONDS

It is a fixed income debt security that can be converted into stocks of the same company by the holder.

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SOVEREIGN GOLD BONDS

It is the right alternative to investment in physical gold providing interest income on the investment.

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PERPETUAL BONDS

It is a bond type with no maturity, but the agreed interest is payable until the issuer calls them back.

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GREEN BONDS

It is a fixed income bond designed specifically to support environment or climate related projects.

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Covered Bonds

It is considered more secure in comparison to asset-backed securities and pays interest annually.

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Market-Linked Debentures

Market Linked Debentures (MLDs) are the debt securities that are linked to performance of the market.

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STATE DEVELOPMENT LOANS

SDL are issued by state government in order to meet budget expenses. They are low risk investments.

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Different types of bonds

Below are the five best types of bonds:

1. GOVERNMENT BONDS

The Indian government, either the central or state governments, may require funds for their operations, such as infrastructure, public projects, etc. thus, they issue bonds known as government bonds

The government (issuer) guarantees principal repayment as well as interest payments. As the government (central or state) backs them, they are considered the safest.

Government bonds have a long maturity, usually between 5 and 40 years.

These bonds pay a fixed/floating interest rate; however, they provide lower returns as they carry less risk.

Investors who are wary of taking risks, sometimes known as risk-averse investors, and who want to ensure the highest level of protection for their money might invest in government bonds.

2. CORPORATE BONDS

Companies issue corporate bonds to fund their needs, such as expansion, equipment purchases, land purchases, construction of a new factory, etc.

These bonds are often medium to long-term investments with more than one year of maturity.

Companies pay investors monthly interest payments at predetermined intervals and their principal amount when the bonds mature.

Companies issue debt because it allows them to raise funds at a reduced cost and without diluting their stock.

Corporate bonds have a larger default risk than government bonds and provide a higher yield.

A corporate bond can be classified as investment grade or non-investment grade, depending on its credit rating.

Investment Grade
AAA, AA, A,
and BBB
Non -Investment Grade
BB to D
(high yielding/junk bonds)
3. PSU BONDS

PSU bonds are issued by public-sector companies, such as PSU banks, power sector companies, railways, etc., with a government stake of more than 51%.

As the government backs these bonds, they carry less risk, thus lower return than corporate bonds.

They come with medium to long term obligations.

Continue to invest in PSU bonds for a longer period since you will get better returns despite market price swings.

4. TAX-FREE BONDS

Tax-free bonds are exactly what their name implies: they are tax-free. As a result, the interest generated by investors on these securities will be tax-free under section 10 of the Income Tax Act.

The government issues these bonds for a specified purpose, such as infrastructure or housing projects. Municipal bonds are an example of this type of bond.

Tax-free bonds have a 10-year or longer maturity and have very low default risk. Thus, they provide a lower rate of return than corporate bonds.

Further, because they have a long lock-in time, they are illiquid.

5. ZERO-COUPON BONDS

Bonds that pay no interest to the investor are known as zero-coupon bonds.

Why would an investor invest in such an instrument, you might wonder?

  • Zero-coupon bonds (deep discount bonds) are issued at a discount to their fair value but are redeemed at par.
  • The investor’s profit is the difference between the price at which the bond is issued and the price at which it is redeemed (par value). For instance, if the bond’s par value is Rs. 1000, the issue price is Rs. 800, and then the difference of Rs. 200 is the investor’s profit
  • Governments, private companies, and public corporations could all issue zero-coupon bonds.
  • Zero-coupon bonds come with a maturity of 10 to 15 years.

How do bonds work?

A bond is a form of debt financing, and they are not the same thing as stocks. Organizations issue bonds with the aim of raising funds for a variety of needs like purchase of machinery, purchase of land, company expansion, construction of a new site or a factory, and more.

When the issuer issues bonds, it borrows money from investors who buy them in the bond market.

The investors receive regular interest payments from them for the amount they have loaned, and they pay back the principal when they mature, typically after several years.

Do you have any other questions? Or are you
curious about something?

For more information, go to our knowledge centre page

What is the bond market, and how do Indian bonds work?

A bond market is the market where investors can buy debt instruments issued by either government enterprises or private sector organizations.

The bond market in India plays an essential role in the country’s economic development, and the government is taking steps to enhance the bond market.

Earlier, foreign investors did not have full access to the government bond market. However, the Indian government has announced a plan which will allow international investors to buy government bonds with no restrictions.

The inclusion of India in the global bond index came as a result of this new strategy.

India is anticipated to be included in global bond indices in early 2022, which might bring over $40 billion in capital from investors in 2022 -23. Furthermore, allowing foreign investors to invest in government bonds is a good decision that demonstrates India’s confidence in its stability.

A market-making institution for corporate bonds was proposed in the most recent budget.

This will have several advantages, including providing much-needed liquidity to the bond market and allowing investors to feel more comfortable with bonds.

The Indian bond market has diversified dramatically during the previous two decades, contributing significantly to the development of the country’s infrastructure.

However, compared to the equity market, India’s bond market is still in its early phases, with much room for expansion.

Now the next question arises - how the bond market works in India?

As discussed above, the Indian bond market consists of numerous sorts of bonds.

There are two types of markets in the Indian bond market. They are as detailed below:

1. PRIMARY MARKET

The primary bond market is a bond market segment where new and seasoned issuers, including corporations, municipalities, and governments, sell securities to investors.

2. SECONDARY MARKET

The secondary bond market includes bonds that have already been issued. These bonds can be traded between investors on exchanges or over the counter.

Secondary bond markets are used by investors to trade existing bonds, instead of purchasing newly issued bonds.

These bonds can be purchased through a broker, who acts as a middleman between the purchasing and selling parties.

The Indian bond market includes both government and private-sector bonds, but the government bonds dominate the Indian bond market.

Government bonds are believed to be quite safe and have a lot of liquidity.

Benefits of investing in bonds

Are bonds are good investment in 2022?
Whether it is 2022, 2023, or any other year, investing in bonds can be a good decision. There are varied types of bonds. You can earn interest every six month or annually.

Benefits of Investing in Bonds

Benefits of Investing in Bonds

STABLE & SECURE

Bonds are considered a safe investment since they are stable and secure. This is because they provide a consistent return.

PREDICTABLE INCOME

Bonds provide predictable income, i.e., investors know what they will receive (interest and principal amount).

DIVERSIFYING THE PORTFOLIO

It can help diversify a portfolio & reduce risk as the correlation between bonds and other investment options are less.

CREDIT RATINGS

Bonds are rated by credit rating agencies which provide further assurance to investors regarding the investments.

How to buy bonds in India?

Investing in Bonds has become easier in India in recent years. Investors will need a Demat and Trading account to invest in bonds. Today, there are numerous platforms available to assist investors in purchasing and selling bonds.

You can create your account online at BondsIndia to buy bonds of diverse types. You can get started in just three simple steps.

Where to buy bonds in India?

  • Buying bonds through brokers is the most typical approach. Investors permit their brokers to trade on their behalf.
  • Aside from that, investors can buy bonds directly through an exchange.
  • Government bonds can also be purchased through RBI’s Retail Direct scheme, the NSE’s “NSE goBID” app, or the BSE’s “BSE Direct” app.
  • Further, investors who do not have the time or knowledge to acquire bonds directly can do so through debt mutual funds.
  • Online platforms are one method that is getting a lot of attraction due to their ease and flexibility.
  • Investors can trade bonds online from anywhere, at any time, without having to phone a broker.

There are several online platforms to choose from; choose the one
that best suits your needs.

BondsIndia is one of the most reputable online bond platforms. It offers easy access to the bonds to invest in India, as well as detailed research and a hassle-free approach.

If you are not yet a member and would like to explore more about bonds,

Frequently Asked Questions

Bonds are the debt securities issued by a government enterprise or a private entity to investors to raise funds for various purposes. Bonds are a sort of fixed-income security that works by paying back a certain amount to the bondholder regularly, known as the coupon rate until the borrowed amount is paid back.

A secondary market for bonds has its own limitless importance. The secondary bond market comprises bonds that have already been issued and are used by investors to trade existing bonds rather than buying new ones.

Investing in bonds in India is good as it provides a stable and secure return, which is also predictable as the interest rate is fixed. Further, it also helps us diversify our portfolio and reduce risks.

You can invest in bonds through BondsIndia, one of the most reputable online bond platforms. It offers easy access to the bonds and detailed research. At BondsIndia, you need to create your personal account and get ready to trade after completing your KYC in three easy steps.

Which bond is the best will depend upon an investors’ risk profile, tenure, and return expectations? Select a bond that best suits your needs.
For the guidance on the best bond in India, you can BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION with our Investment Expert.

Government bonds issued by the central and state governments are considered the safest investment instruments as the government backs them.

There are two ways to earn profit from bond investments:
The first option is to keep the bonds until they reach maturity and earn interest payments. The second strategy to earn from bonds is to sell them for a higher price than you paid for them.

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