Non-Convertible Debentures

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What are Non-Convertible Debentures? 

Companies need capital to ensure the smooth running of their business operations. To raise long-term capital, they issue NCDs, which fall under the debt class of financial instruments. They are fixed-income instruments that high-rated companies issue to raise capital from the general public. These instruments cannot be converted into equity shares. Since they are non-convertible, they usually carry higher rates of interest.  Unlike holding shares of a company that gives part ownership to the shareholders, an investment in Non-Convertible Debentures provides no present or future stake in the company due to the non-convertibility element. When investors invest in NCDs, they get regular interest payments until the fixed tenure is completed. At the end of the stipulated period, the company redeems the debenture. They are backed by those assets which have not been pledged for availing of a different loan.


Features of Non-Convertible Debentures

  • Low Risk: Companies with a high credit rating issue them to raise capital

  • Regular Interest: They offer regular interest that is directly credited to the bank account

  • Easily Tradable: They are traded in the open market and exchanges and can be easily bought

  • Flexible: Their flexibility ensures a choice across a range of tenures

Benefits of Non-Convertible Debentures

  • Diversification: When you invest in NCDs online, you can ensure effective portfolio diversification.

  • Liquidity: Being listed securities, holders can sell their investments instantly.

  • Capital Appreciation: They can provide better profits to holders as they benefit from the price fluctuations.

  • No TDS: Investing in this instrument offered in the Demat mode do not attract Tax deduction at source.

Tips for Investing in Non-Convertible Debentures

  • Choose a company with a credit rating equal to or higher than AA. Various credit rating agencies provide credit ratings to them based on the company’s potential to provide regular interest and repay principal.

  • Make sure you understand in detail

    what non-convertible debentures are before you start investing.

  • Diversify your portfolio through these debentures available online across various companies.

  • Check the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of the company that can sufficiently survive market losses.

  • The company must have 50% of its assets towards Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), and it should not drop below this level.

  • Ideal time to sell these debentures is when the interest is due, as the demand at this time is the highest. You stand to make better profits at this time.

Types of Non-Convertible Debentures

  • Secured: They are backed by the issuer company’s assets and protect investors in case the company defaults on interest or principal repayment.

  • Unsecured: This type of debenture is not backed by the issuer company’s assets, and the investors can not claim payment through liquidation if the company defaults on interest or principal repayment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ans: Similar to IPOs, they are also listed through a public issue to which you can subscribe. Afterwards, they are listed on the stock exchanges, and you can buy them anytime after opening a Demat and a trading account.

Ans: They do not attract TDS, but if sold within a year, short-term capital gain tax is applicable along with long-term capital gains tax if sold after a year.

Ans: The minimum amount varies for every application and is decided by the issuer company. However, you can start investing with a minimum amount of Rs 10,000.

Ans: Non-convertible debentures (NCDs) are unsecured bonds. This means that there is no asset that has been put as security for these bonds. Non-convertible means that they cannot be converted into equity of the company at a later date. In an unsecured bond, in case of default by the entity that has issued the bonds, there are no specific assets on which bondholders can lay claim for getting the amount due to them, by selling that particular asset. So in case of default on an unsecured bond, bondholders or creditors will have to start bankruptcy proceedings against the company for recovering the amount due to them.

Ans: The main benefit of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) is that because they are unsecured, the interest rate paid on them is higher. Bondholders or creditors are taking a higher risk when they invest in a non-convertible debenture. They are compensated for this risk through payment of higher interest rate.

Ans: The credit risk of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) is much higher than that of Fixed Deposits (FDs). Therefore, the interest rate that you get on an NCD is usually higher than that on an FD. Credit risk is the risk of default by the entity, whose NCDs you have bought or with whom you have put in the FD, when the time for paying you back comes. 

So if your risk tolerance is higher, and you want to earn  higher returns then NCD is the better option for you. However, if your risk tolerance is lower, then FDs may be the right option for you. 

The risk and return of an NCD also depend on its credit rating. Each NCD carries a credit rating. This rating is given by a credit rating agency. The higher the credit rating of an NCD, the lower is its risk of default. And therefore, lower will be the interest rate that it will give. The lower the credit rating of an NCD, the higher is its risk of default. And more will be the interest rate that it will give

Ans: Non-convertible debentures (NCDs) generally are not tax–free. Interests earned on NCDs are taxable. If you sell an NCD before its maturity date at a price that is above the price at which you bought it, then you will realize capital gains. If you realized these gains by selling the NCD within one year of buying them, then short-term capital gains tax will be levied on your gains. Your gains will simply become part of your taxable income. They will be taxed in the usual manner. However, if you sold the NCD after a period of more than one year, from the date of buying them, then long-term capital gains tax will be levied. Currently, the long-term capital gains tax on NCDs is around 10.30%.