An agreed action to be undertaken (Positive) or not done (Negative). A breach of a covenant is a default
A provision in an indenture
. An indenture sets the terms of a bond
; its terms include the coupon rate
, the period until maturity
, and whether the bond comes with any special features like convertibility
or whether it is callable
. A covenant within an indenture states what actions the issuer
and the bondholder
may or may not take in certain situations. Covenants (and indentures generally) exist to reduce the risk to all parties to a bond.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A clause in a loan agreement written to protect the lender's claim by keeping the borrower's financial position approximately the same as it was at the time the loan agreement was made. Essentially, covenants spell out what the borrower may do and must do in order to satisfy the terms of the loan. For example, the borrower may be prohibited from issuing more debt by using certain assets as collateral. Likewise, the borrower may be required to issue reports to bondholders on certain dates. Also called protective covenant
, restrictive covenant
. See also negative covenant
, positive covenant
Case Study In February 2002 Qwest Communications issued a warning that the company was in danger of violating a bank loan covenant by the end of June. A major slump in the telecom business combined with heavy indebtedness caused concern that the firm's debt would exceed the specified maximum of 3.75 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. A month later the company announced that in return for agreeing to use $608 million from a $1.5 billion bond issue to reduce bank debt, the bankers agreed to a concession that raised the covenant maximum to 4.25 until the end of September, and 4.00 during the following six months. The covenant had been included as part of the original bank loan agreement in order to help insure that Qwest could continue to meet its existing obligations before taking on additional debt.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
covenant a written agreement by a person to pay a given sum of money to some other person or organization for a specified period of time. Where a covenant arrangement allows a donor relief from income tax on any sums paid over, the covenant provides a tax-efficient means of making financial provision for a relative or charity.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
covenant a specific condition in a legal agreement or CONTRACT. For instance, a formal agreement between a COMMERCIAL BANK and a JOINT-STOCK COMPANY to which it is loaning money might contain a covenant stipulating a limit on dividend distributions from profits.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
An agreement. For example,one can make a “covenant not to compete”a provision of a business sale,or one can write a restrictive covenant regarding the use of real property into the real estate records,which binds all owners whether it is contained in their specific deed or not.
The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.