callable bond definition

Bonds are typically called when interest rates fall, since issuers can save money by paying off existing debt and offering new bonds at lower rates. If a bond is called, the issuer may pay the bondholder a premium, or an amount above the par value of the bond. If interest rates are falling, the callable bonds issuing company can call the bond and repay the debt by exercising the call option and refinance the debt at a lower interest rate. On the other hand, callable bonds mean higher risk for investors. If the bonds are redeemed, the investors will lose some future interest payments . Due to the riskier nature of the bonds, they tend to come with a premium to compensate investors for the additional risk. The yield premium represents the compensation for general interest rate, yield curve, and volatility risks.

  • However, if the interest rate increases or remains the same, there is no incentive for the company to redeem the bonds and the embedded call option will expire unexercised.
  • However, the investor might not make out as well as the company when the bond is called.
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  • A sinking fund is an account a corporation uses to set aside money earmarked to pay off the debt from a bond or other debt issue.
  • Most companies issue bonds to pay for an expansion or some other project.
  • If a bond is callable, it means the issuer sells it to you and can “call” the bond back before the maturity date.

Typically, a bond that is callable will become callable at a premium. For example, it might become callable at a price of 102, or $1020 per $1000 of face value, meaning that the issuer has to give investors that amount in order to call the bond. After another year, it might decline to 100, or par, and remain callable at par for the remainder of its life. A type of bond that the issuer can call at any time between issuance and maturity.

Why Companies Issue Bonds

Technically speaking, the bonds are not really bought and held by the issuer, but cancelled immediately or no longer accrue interest at the original coupon rate. Investors are the lenders, giving money to businesses who promise to make interest payments to the investor. If the bond is callable, the issuer can call them back and pay the investor their principal plus any interest earned to that point. Callable bonds sometimes offer a better interest rate than similar noncallable bonds to help compensate investors for the call risk and the reinvestment risk that they face. Sometimes callable bonds will also set the call price above face value—say $1,002 versus $1,000. Callable bonds, which are sometimes called redeemable bonds, have become quite popular in recent years.

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  • When you buy callable bonds, you can lose income you expected to have, especially if you buy them on the secondary market too close to the call date.
  • The convertibility, however, may be forced if the convertible is a callable bond, and the issuer calls the bond.
  • Call premium is the dollar amount over the par value of a callable debt security that is given to holders when the security is redeemed early.
  • However, if you think rates may fall, you should be paid for the additional risk in a callable bond.
  • That is, if interest rates fall significantly, the issuer can call the bond and issue a new bond at a lower interest rate, reducing its liabilities.

The last few years have seen dramatic shifts in investment flows from equity into fixed income, with fixed income viewed as a safe bet. Paradoxically, as a result of this reallocation, fixed income has become a major source of return and risk, as investors have moved into higher risk interest rate assets.

Other Investing Terms

Call PriceA call price is the amount an issuer pays the buyer to buyback, call, or redeem a callable security before it matures. Total ReturnThe term “Total Return” refers to the sum of the difference between the opening and closing value of all the assets over a particular period of time and the returns thereon.

callable bond definition

Put OptionPut Option is a financial instrument that gives the buyer the right to sell the option anytime before the date of contract expiration at a pre-specified price called strike price. It protects the underlying asset from any downfall of the underlying asset anticipated.

Примеры Для Callable Bond

Moreover, the reinvestment risk also applies with respect to the new bond’s price, where the price of the bond could be trading higher than the original callable bonds, and they may get lower income from a high investment. Therefore, it may not be suitable for investors who need stable and secured income. Higher coupon rate or rate of interest – The main advantage of the callable bond is that it provides a high coupon rate to the investors.

callable bond definition

When managing fixed income portfolios, it is useful to think in terms of rewards for three types of interest rate risk. The first is the parallel shift up in the yield curve, also called duration risk. The second is yield curve rotation—steepening, flattening, or inversion, with not all yields moving in the same direction or by the same number of basis points.

Why Are Callable Bonds Issued?

In the upward sloping case, of course, one would measure a larger differential relative to the call maturity than to the final maturity . It pays higher returns than non-callable bonds considering the flexibility; it adds up to higher finance costs to the company.

  • The preferred shares pay a dividend of 10 percent and are callable after three years at a 10 percent premium.
  • A smaller percentage, referred to as “European” callables, have a single call date determined at issuance.
  • The callable bond’s short call option has a much longer maturity—many years—than a typical equity call resulting in a large yield premium.
  • Callable Bond — A bond issue in which all or part of its outstanding principal amount may be redeemed before maturity by the issuer under specified conditions.
  • A municipal bond has call features that may be exercised after a set period such as 10 years.

The vertical distance in the graph of Figure 4 represents the extra yield the callable bond holder would earn over the bullet bonds if the bonds are called. In Figure 4 the yields to call are also the yields to worst for all the callable bonds in the data set. Investing in callable bonds exposes investors to all three types of the interest rate risk. These bonds’ effective durations measure the exposure to the rise of interest rates. The premiums built into their yields to call and yields to maturity reflect the slope of the yield curve and the volatility of the rates.


A callable bond is a debt security that can be redeemed early by the issuer before its maturity at the issuer’s discretion. Figure 2 shows the yield curve of non-callable bonds of General Electric Capital relative to the U.S. The data were downloaded using Vanguard’s Bond Desk application and verified against FINRA’s site. Bondstype ofA bond which the issuer has the right to buy back at a specific date if he wishes.Made up of a bond and a receiver’s swaption, it is used to provide flexibility for the issuer.

Suppose a company issues a callable bond to raise $ 1 million with a face value of $100 if it offers a 7% interest rate to investors when the market interest rate is 6%. The bond comes with an embedded call feature after 4 years and a maturity period of 10 years. These extraordinary event clauses can be either mandatory or optional, meaning the occurrence of an event can either require the company to redeem the bonds or they can open up that option to the company. A bond that can be called by the issuer prior to its maturity, on certain call dates, at call prices. The call feature is typically not activated until a certain period of time has passed , so that investors are assured of the interest rate stated on the bond for a fairly long period of time. If a bond is redeemed, its holder is usually paid the par value of the bond, as well as a call premium to compensate them somewhat for the lost interest rate. The call premium may be higher if a bond is redeemed quite early, and declines if the redemption occurs later.

Special Considerations With A Callable Bond

Issuers call bonds when interest rates drop below where they were when the bond was issued. For example, if a bond is issued at a rate of 7% and the market rate for bonds of that type drops to 6% and stays there, when the bond becomes callable the issuer will likely call it in order to issue new bonds at 6%.

Callable Bond Example

A callable bond allows the issuing company to pay off their debt early. A business may choose to call their bond if market interest rates move lower, which will allow them to re-borrow at a more beneficial rate. Callable bonds thus compensate investors for that potentiality as they typically offer a more attractive interest rate or coupon rate due to their callable nature. Tables 2 and 3 show very high coupon rates earned by investors on the uncalled bonds.

One is the normal maturity, and the other is the shorter life it experiences upon exercising the call option. Government Securities means direct obligations of, or obligations guaranteed by, the United States of America, and the payment for which the United States pledges its full faith and credit.

Even more appealing for borrowers, the loans are callable from day one, giving companies great flexibility to refinance on the spot if rates decline. Corporate Bonds means a debt obligation of a United States-chartered corporation with a maturity date greater than 270 days, which may be interest-bearing or discount-purchased.

This is chosen predominantly in the economy where the interest rates are volatile, and it is expected to reduce in the future. Callable bonds give the issuer an opportunity to refinance its debt at an attractive rate. It can also provide a natural hedge if the issuer has floating rate-linked cash inflows from its assets. For the investors, it gives them an opportunity to earn higher callable bond definition than the normal coupon rate for at least the bond’s life. Words of the masculine gender shall be deemed and construed to include correlative words of the feminine and neuter genders. All references to applicable provisions of Law shall be deemed to include any and all amendments thereto. Buying any investment requires that you weigh the potential return against potential risk.

Because 2008 represents predominantly a crisis of liquidity, many U.S. corporations officially changed their financing policies. The main shift was the move away from short-term financing like repo5 and commercial paper to alternative financing and extreme long-term issuance (50-, 100-year bonds), including callables.

However, if the interest rate increases or remains the same, there is no incentive for the company to redeem the bonds and the embedded call option will expire unexercised. Paying down debt early by exercising callable bonds saves a company interest expense and prevents the company from being put in financial difficulties in the long term if economic or financial conditions worsen.