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Realize the concealed challenges just before you get lured into investing in high-yielding PSU bonds

We explain how they function and no matter whether there is a capture to this investment solution.
How do they function?Brokerages buy bonds from institutions like banks, mutual funds and pension funds in the secondary market. They then market the bonds to you at a bigger price. For case in point, the broker could possibly buy a bond at ₹100 and provide it to you at ₹102.
A different way of stating this is that they offer bonds to you at a “lower yield” than the yield at which they buy. Yield is interest divided by the price.
Note that this kind of transaction (termed about-the-counter or OTC) is fully opaque. The broker does not explain to you accurately how much it has acquired on the transaction. This is contrary to, say, the expense ratio of a debt fund which is transparently disclosed.
Logic of high yieldsYields on quite a few of these bonds are considerably increased than the market costs. For case in point, UP Electric power Corporation Bonds (maturing in 2025) are trading at 10-11%, when Rajasthan Point out Street Transportation Corporation Bonds (maturing in 2022) at 9%.
So what justifies the high yields? The PSU in concern could possibly have a weak balance sheet or may possibly be making losses.
A further group of high-yielding PSU credit card debt is perpetual bonds by PSU banking companies. These are very dangerous as they can be published down when the capital of the bank falls down below sure thresholds. The bank does not have to be bankrupt for the bonds to be created down. The bank can be bailed out, as happened with Indeed Bank.
The tax biteThe interest (coupon) on the bonds is taxed at your slab rate. Having said that, if you buy the bond at a price additional than its face value (called getting at a premium) and hold it till maturity, you make extended-term capital loss (LTCL). This can be set off versus very long-term capital gains (LTCG) from any other asset.
Similarly, if you buy the bond at a price decrease than its face value (purchasing at a discount) and hold it to maturity, you will make LTCG, which can be set off in opposition to short-term capital loss (STCL) or LTCL on another asset. You would make this type of invest in at a premium mainly because the bond’s interest rate might be larger than the market rate.
Note that though the coupon is taxed at your slab rate, the principal corpus may be taxed as capital gain or loss.
In case of detailed bonds, the holding period for LTCG is one particular calendar year and for unlisted bonds a few yrs. LTCG on bonds is levied at 20% and you get the benefit of indexation. Nonetheless, short-term capital gains (STCG) tax is levied as per your slab rate.
Can they default?Indeed, this is not unheard of. In September 2019, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transportation Corp. (BMTC), a point out governing administration PSU, was downgraded by ICRA to D (default) on account of delays and irregular payment. At the time, BMTC experienced only bank loan amenities and not bonds. A downgrade equally has an effect on each varieties of borrowings.
“With regard to PSU debt, commonly point out govt PSUs trade at greater yields to central authorities PSUs, specifically in the case of point out discoms. Defaults in condition PSUs are not unheard of so you must verify the credit ranking and monetary parameters before investing,” mentioned R. Sivakumar, head, fixed income, Axis Mutual Fund.
Fund managers also warn from investing in perpetual bonds of PSU banking companies (typically, labeled as added tier 1 or AT1 bonds). “I would not suggest point out governing administration-assured or bank AT1 bonds for retail investors. In the same way, I would not endorse condition authorities-assured PSU bonds straight to be bought to retail investors. If anything at all, they can search at point out advancement loans (state government bonds),” reported Rajeev Radhakrishnan, head, fixed income, SBI Mutual Fund.
Mint takeDo your homework on the rating and fiscal wellbeing of the PSU in query. “I do not advise immediate invest in of high-yielding bonds, even if they are PSU bonds. You usually simply cannot convey to what’s incorrect with the paper in query. As a substitute go via a mutual fund in which the fund manager has carried out some diligence on these bonds,” reported Kalpesh Ashar, founder, Entire Circle Money Planners and Advisors.
“State government PSUs have defaulted in the past. There is no iron-clad assure powering them,” mentioned Prateek Pant, co-founder and head, products and options, Sanctum Prosperity Administration.
Be careful when such bonds are pitched to you.

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