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There are several different kinds of bonds. The most basic division is the one between corporate bonds, which are issued by private companies, and government bonds such as Treasuries or municipal bonds. Other common types include callable bonds, which allow the issuer to repay the principal prior to maturity, depriving the bondholder of future coupons, and floating rate notes, which carry an interest rate that changes from time to time according to some benchmark. Along with cash and stocks, bonds are one of the basic types of assets.
Bonds are debt securities issued by corporations and governments.
Bonds are, in fact, loans that you and other investors make to the issuers in return for the promise of being paid interest, usually but not always at a fixed rate, over the loan term. The issuer also promises to repay the loan principal at maturity, on time and in full.
Because most bonds pay interest on a regular basis, they are also described as fixed-income investments. While the term bond is used generically to describe all debt securities, bonds are specifically long-term investments, with maturities longer than ten years.
bonda FINANCIAL SECURITY issued by a company or by the government as a means of borrowing long-term funds. Bonds are, typically issued for a set number of years (often 10 years plus), being repayable on maturity. They are issued in units of a fixed (nominal) face value and bear a fixed (nominal) rate of interest. Purchasers of bonds include private individuals, commercial banks and institutional investors (pension funds, etc.) who hold them as a form of portfolio investment.
Once issued, bonds can be bought and sold on the STOCK MARKET. Bond prices tend to fluctuate at prices below their face value, reflecting buying and selling strengths, but are closely linked to prevailing market interest rates so as to remain attractive to potential buyers. For example, a £100 bond with a nominal 5% interest rate returning £5 per year would have to be priced at £50 if current market interest rates were 10% so that a buyer could earn an effective return of £5/£50 = 10% on his investment.
In addition to their role as a means of borrowing money, the sale and purchase of bonds is used by the monetary authorities to control the MONEY SUPPLY. See MONETARY POLICY. See also EUROCURRENCY MARKET, GILT-EDGED SECURITY.
bonda FINANCIAL SECURITY issued by businesses and by the government as a means of BORROWING long-term funds. Bonds are typically issued for periods of several years; they are repayable on maturity and bear a fixed NOMINAL (COUPON) INTEREST RATE. Once a bond has been issued at its nominal value, then the market price at which it is sold subsequently will vary in order to keep the EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE on the bond in line with current prevailing interest rates. For example, a £100 bond with a nominal 5% interest rate paying £5 per year would have to be priced at £50 if current market interest rates were 10%, so that a buyer could earn an effective return of £5/50 = 10% on his investment.
In addition to their role as a means of borrowing money, government bonds are used by the monetary authorities as a means of regulating the MONEY SUPPLY. For example, if the authorities wish to reduce the money supply, they can issue bonds to the general public, thereby reducing the liquidity of the banking system as customers draw cheques to pay for these bonds. See also OPEN MARKET OPERATION, BANK DEPOSIT CREATION, PUBLIC SECTOR BORROWING REQUIREMENT, SPECULATIVE DEMAND FOR MONEY, CONSOLS.
A certificate that provides evidence of a debt or obligation.