Should you invest in GOI floating rate savings bonds?

Debt investors have been so starved of good returns lately, that any return above 7% now seems like a grand prize. This is why, after the government recently announced an interest rate of 7.7% per annum on National Savings Certificates (NSC) for the April-June 2023 quarter, there was much jubilation. Apart from warranting a fresh look at the NSC itself, this rate hike promises to significantly lift returns on a Central government-backed instrument – GOI Floating Rate Savings Bonds 2020 (GOI FRSB).

Why banking is a fragile business

The recent furore surrounding the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in the US has exposed that while banking is a favourite sector with stock market investors, the fragility of the banking business is far from well-understood. Banks are held up as the engines of economic growth. Whichever sector grows, the banking sector ultimately gains. Banks are also accorded a higher valuation than most sectors during bull phases. In good times, banks made up a 40% plus weight in our leading stock market indices.

Prime Debt outlook 2023: Handling a rate pause

After bungee jumping off a cliff, it is good to wait for the adrenaline rush to wear off. Indian bond markets are in exactly this situation now. After falling sharply as rates rose, bond prices are pausing to take a breath. In our debt outlook last year we expected rates to continue their upward climb and recommended strategies to play this. During the course of 2023, we think interest rates could top out and stabilise. We tell you what this will mean for your debt portfolio.

Prime Bond recommendation: An AT1 bond with high yield

At PrimeInvestor, we took an ultra-conservative approach to debt investments during Covid and just after it. But with economic recovery taking root, interest rates rising and credit offtake improving, we believe investors can shoot for higher yields by taking on some credit risk. Perpetual bonds from banks with sound financials are one option, offering good reward for risks taken. We are covering one such bond here.

The search for high interest rates: where to draw the line

Low interest rates and rising inflation are a dilemma for savers. There is a constant conflict between risk and return. As far as the retail investor is concerned, he looks forward to being ‘protected’ by the regulators. Financial literacy does not come easy and ninety percent of us would not know the difference between a fixed deposit and a debenture.  And we would be forgiven in thinking that the term ‘secured’ debenture or bond means that every rupee we invest is safe! But where should we draw the line in the search for high interest rates?

Have short term money to park? Here’s a cast iron option

Lately, it is not just India’s stock market that has been hopping all over the place like an impatient child. The bond market has been doing it too! India’s 10-year government bond yield, which sets the benchmark for all other debt instruments, climbed vertically from 5.8% in July 2020 to 7.61% in June 2022. But after that, it has been unable to make up its mind on whether to climb higher or pause for breath. 

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