With bank deposit rates plumbing the depths, fixed income investors are hard-pressed to find investment options that can deliver better returns without big risks. Power Finance Corporation’s (PFC) retail offer of secured non-convertible debentures (NCDs) appears well-timed to capitalise on this need. But should you bite the bait? If yes, which of the 7 bond options is worth a look? An analysis.
If you decide to park a portion of your deposit portfolio in riskier bank fixed deposit options after fully calculating the risks that can play out, that’s certainly a valid decision. But before you take that call, it is important to know how bank failures actually play out in India.
Covid or no Covid, stock markets in the last six months have been quite kind to equity investors. But debt investors have had no such luck. Even though India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has been in pause mode since June after slashing its repo rate from 5.4% to 4% in the preceding eight months, the returns that savers get on their bank and corporate FDs, bonds and debt funds have continued to plumb new depths.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in its latest meeting has sent out mixed signals about the future direction of interest rates. Citing an uncertain inflation outlook, it called a pause to its repo rate cuts, holding the rate at 4 per cent. At the same time, it also promised to continue its ‘accommodative stance’ due to unprecedented Covid stress on the economy.
The NFO of the latest tranche of the Bharat Bond ETF – a portfolio of high-quality PSU bonds from the Edelweiss AMC – will be open from July 14-17, 2020.
If the recent events in the debt space brought to light the liquidity risk arising from lower rated papers, you probably haven’t seen the unfolding of various kinds of risk since September 2018. In 2013, when duration became a risk on the back of rate hikes, money flowed copiously to credit risk over the next 5 years. Now, the cycle has turned. Money is moving to duration from credit risk.
With interest rates on debt options falling steeply in the past year, retirees, pensioners and those seeking to supplement their income with fixed deposit schemes have seen a sharp dip in their cash flows. In this context, it is good to see India’s largest bank – State Bank of India (SBI) – coming up with a special deposit scheme for senior citizens while revising its fixed deposit rates recently.
With returns failing to match risks and RBI relief measures complicating life for lenders, the next six months promise to be a minefield for debt investors. Here’s how you can navigate this
Given rate adjustments by other banks and NBFCs recently, a significant rate cut may soon be in the offing in this deposit as well. Investors and seniors looking for deposit options should lock into this FD before rates are revised.
These are extraordinary times for fixed income investors. Interest rates, after recent rate cuts by the MPC, are ruling at lows not seen in the last two decades. The repo rate of 4.4% today is even below levels seen during the global financial crisis. Keeping all this in mind, we have made significant changes to our curated list of deposits. Here are the three key sets of changes to the list and why we made them.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Therefore, Indian fixed income investors may need to brace for a further plunge in interest rates in the coming months. • With rates cuts likely, lock into the options mentioned here, before March 31, 2020.