Debentures Definition, Types, How to Raise Funds, Pros, Cons

A debenture is a long-term debt instrument issued by corporations and governments to secure fresh funds or capital. There is no collateral or physical assets required to back up the debt, as the overall creditworthiness and reputation of the issuer suffice. Coupons or interest rates are offered as compensation to the lender. Convertible debentures are bonds that can convert into equity shares of the issuing corporation after a specific period. Convertible debentures are hybrid financial products with the benefits of both debt and equity.

  • Due to the presence of rival securities like gilt-edged securities of the Government and preference shares in the capital market, the demand for debentures is also affected very seriously.
  • However, this reason now has no validity because the system of managing agents had been abolished in 1968.
  • Highly rated corporate or government bonds come with little perceived default risk.
  • Without high credit ratings, it’s unlikely that anyone would buy the debentures.
  • The debenture-holder must also know whether they are redeemable or convertible.
  • In contrast to equity capital, variable income security, debentures are fixed income (interest) security.

Because a debenture is an unsecured debt, the town doesn’t have to worry about putting up any collateral. Eventually, the government will pay back each of the investors with interest. In the investing world, bonds are generally considered to be a relatively safe  investment. Highly rated corporate or government bonds come with little perceived default risk. However, each bond, including those issued by government agencies or municipalities, will carry an individual credit rating.

The main differences between shareholders and debenture holders are summarized in the table below. There are no legal restrictions on the price for which debentures are issued. Debentures may be issued at par, at discount, or at premium, as in the case of shares.

A debenture is a type of bond that a government or corporation can use to raise capital. As with other bonds, those who invest in debentures loan the entity money and get it back with interest. There is no collateral behind it, meaning there is no asset for the lender to seize if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Contents of Debentures

A debenture is a form of bond or long-term loan which is issued by the company. The debenture typically carries a fixed rate of interest over the course of the loan. Thus, there is some risk in purchasing debentures, especially when compared to secured debt, which is why debentures are much more common among companies with high credit ratings. Without high credit ratings, it’s unlikely that anyone would buy the debentures. It’s important to note that not all unsecured loans are debentures. For example, some financial institutions offer businesses working capital loans that are not secured by any collateral.

  • Finally, some debentures are partially convertible, meaning some of the investment converts into shares while the rest follows the ordinary course of a bond investment.
  • A debenture can also be partially convertible, which means part of its value can be converted into shares and cash.
  • Examples of government-issued debentures are Treasury bonds and Treasury bills.
  • Additional information about Synapse Brokerage can be found on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
  • Credit risk is also something to consider, though again, companies or governments that issue debentures typically have stronger credit ratings.
  • A debenture is a type of bond that is not secured by any sort of collateral.

But in our country, most of the institutional investors are public sector institutions. They have to invest a major portion of their funds in Government securities because of the statutory requirements. The managing agents met the medium-term requirement through inter-corporate investments so as to maintain their financial dominance. However, this reason now has no validity because the system of managing agents had been abolished in 1968.

Why would a company choose to issue Debentures instead of shares?

Unlike traditional stocks, debenture stocks provide a more reliable stream of returns. Every once in a while, a company will go out of business, and its assets will be liquidated. In this case, there is usually an order to which lenders get paid back. Those who purchased secured debt will be taken care of first, followed by those who bought debentures.

For one, there’s no guarantee the interest rate will keep up with inflation (a general increase in prices). If inflation outpaces the interest rate on a debenture, then you’ve lost money. For an investment where the interest rate is often just a few percent, this is not an unrealistic scenario. Bonds and debentures provide companies and governments with a way to finance beyond their normal cash flows.

Investments in private placements are speculative and involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest. Additionally, investors may receive illiquid and/or restricted securities that may be subject to holding period requirements and/or liquidity concerns. Investments in private placements are highly illiquid and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5-7 years) should not invest. Regular debentures act as loans against the company, which make the owner of the debenture a creditor with preferred status in case of liquidation.

The Investor’s Guide to Understanding Indemnity Clauses

In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation, debentures are paid after secured debt, but take priority over common and preferred shares. Depending on the terms, debentures can be placed in a more senior position to other unsecured loans. Debentures are long-term loans and generally have a maturity date of five to 10 years.

Browse more Topics under Issue And Redemption Of Debentures

They may either secured by the company’s assets or may be unsecured. Investing in private placements requires long-term commitments, the ability to afford to lose the entire investment, and low liquidity needs. This website provides preliminary and general information about the Securities and is intended for initial reference purposes only.

The interest rate that investors will get is impacted by the company’s credit rating, and thus, the debenture’s credit rating. Such creditworthiness is assessed by credit-rating agencies, which reveal risk findings to investors. Debentures, which may make periodic dry chemical agents interest payments, as with other bonds, are documented in what is called an indenture. That is a legal contract between bond holders and issuers that specifies debt offering features such as its interest calculation method, payment timing, and maturity date.

What is a creditor and what does being a creditor mean?

These are special features added to promote a product or attract investors, some of which are given to A-listers – those who have a significant financial position in society. Companies may offer a profit-sharing plan to employees as a type of debenture. There are various agencies that assess credit ratings in order to gauge the quality of a bond in terms of credit performance. SmartAsset Advisors, LLC (“SmartAsset”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Financial Insight Technology, is registered with the U.S. SmartAsset does not review the ongoing performance of any RIA/IAR, participate in the management of any user’s account by an RIA/IAR or provide advice regarding specific investments. An author, teacher & investing expert with nearly two decades experience as an investment portfolio manager and chief financial officer for a real estate holding company.

How confident are you in your long term financial plan?

These debentures are to be redeemed on the expiry of a certain period. The interest is paid periodically and the initial investment is returned after the fixed maturity period. The call/buyback provision provides an option for the issuing company to redeem the debentures at a specified price before maturity. The call price may be more than the part/face value by usually 5 percent, the difference being the call premium. The put option is a right to the debenture holder to seek redemption at a specified time at predetermined prices.

Investing in debentures is something you may consider if you’re interested in diversifying your portfolio and you already have traditional bond holdings. It’s possible to invest in debentures through an online brokerage account, just like you would with other bonds, stocks and securities. Debentures are often issued when a corporation or government needs to raise capital for a specific purpose. For example, a city government may need funds to move ahead with road maintenance or construction projects while a corporation may require capital to complete an expansion project. In these types of scenarios, debentures can act as a form of long-term financing.