Public sector bonds & corporate bonds

14/05/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Government bonds: The government bond sector is a broad category that includes “sovereign” debt, which is issued and generally backed by a central government. Government of Canada Bonds (GoCs), U.K. Gilts, U.S. Treasuries, German Bunds, Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) and Brazilian Government Bonds, Indian govt. bonds are all examples of sovereign government bonds. The U.S., Japan and Europe have historically been the biggest issuers in the government bond market.

A number of governments also issue sovereign bonds that are linked to inflation, known as inflation-linked bonds or, in the U.S., Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). On an inflation-linked bond, the interest and/or principal is adjusted on a regular basis to reflect changes in the rate of inflation, thus providing a “real,” or inflation-adjusted, return. But, unlike other bonds, inflation-linked bonds could experience greater losses when real interest rates are moving faster than nominal interest rates.

In addition to sovereign bonds, the government bond sector includes subcomponents, such as:

  • Agency and “quasi-government” bonds: Central governments pursue various goals supporting affordable housing or the development of small businesses, for example through agencies, a number of which issue bonds to support their operations. Some agency bonds are guaranteed by the central government while others are not. Supranational organizations, like the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, also borrow in the bond market to finance public projects and/or development.
  • Local government bonds: Local governments whether provinces, states or cities borrow to finance a variety of projects, from bridges to schools, as well as general operations. The market for local government bonds is well established in the U.S., where these bonds are known as municipal bonds. Other developed markets also issue provincial/local government bonds.

Corporate bonds: After the government sector, corporate bonds have historically been the largest segment of the bond market. Corporations borrow money in the bond market to expand operations or fund new business ventures. The corporate sector is evolving rapidly, particularly in Europe and many developing countries.

Corporate bonds fall into two broad categories: investment grade and speculative-grade (also known as high yield or “junk”) bonds. Speculative-grade bonds are issued by companies perceived to have lower credit quality and higher default risk than more highly rated, investment grade companies. Within these two broad categories, corporate bonds have a wide range of ratings, reflecting the fact that the financial health of issuers can vary significantly.

Speculative-grade bonds tend to be issued by newer companies, companies in particularly competitive or volatile sectors, or companies with troubling fundamentals. While a speculative-grade credit rating indicates a higher default probability, higher coupons on these bonds aim to compensate investors for the higher risk. Ratings can be downgraded if the credit quality of the issuer deteriorates or upgraded if fundamentals improve.