Invest in Government Securities-Bonds or T-bills with Zerodha Coin

Posted on 22nd Oct 2018
by Team TopShareBrokers

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In this article we are going to explain how retail investor can invest in Government Securities (Bonds/T-Bills/G Sec) with Zerodha. What is Government Securities and what are the advantage of investment with Bonds/T-Bills compare to Bank FDs.

What are Government Securities and how retail investor can invest in G-Sec?

Government Securities are mainly divided in 2 categories –

    1. Long Dated Bonds (Bonds)
    2. Treasury Bills (T-Bills)

What are Bonds and T-Bills?

When Government of India needs money, they go to RBI for borrowing money. The RBI, auction the loan in the form of Bonds/T-Bills. In such case you are lending a part of overall loan the government is seeking. Against the loan, RBI will pay you periodic interest and also repay the principal at the end of the tenure. G-Bonds/T-Bills come under low risk and low return investment.

In past G-Bonds/T-bills were issued to banks and/or large financial institutes with minimum investment amount of Rs 5 Cr. In April 2018, RBI approved NSE to start taking this to retail investor. With this Retail Investors can invest in G-Bonds/T-Bills with Minimum of Rs 10,000 Investment and Max of Rs 2 Cr.

Bonds and T-Bills are similar to IPO, you can place a bid, once auction process is done, you will get the bonds in your demat account. In case bonds are issued in discount price, you will get refund of difference in your bank account. Once bonds are listed, you can trade them in secondary market in case you want to exit.

    What are T-Bills?

    Treasury Bills (T-Bills) are for less than one year period – 91 days, 182 days and 364 days. T-bills do not contain interest component. T-bills are issued at a discount price to their true (Par) value and upon expiry, it redeemed at par. For example, if the true value is Rs 100, the t-bill is issued for Rs 98 for 91 days. After 91 days you will get Rs 100. Its like you are buying a stock at Rs 98 and after 91 days you will get Rs100 for sure.

    When you apply the T-bills, it come in your demat account and after 91 days (maturity) it automatically get debitted from your Demat Account and the par value gets paid to the bank account linked to your DEMAT account.This process is called “Extinguishment of Securities”.

    What are Bonds?

    Government Bonds are for long period and you get Interest paid twice a year. Symbol of each bond is unique and will give you clear details about what this bond is. For example:

    727GS2024A – means 7.27% Interest, GS: Government Securities and 2024: Maturity Year (6 Year from 2018), A: is internal for NSE use (Fresh Issue)

    So its clear that Gov Bonds are for more than 1 year with fixed interest rate. Interest get credited every 6 months in your bank account linked with your demat account. On maturity – principal is paid back to your bank account in full.

    Bonds are issued on Discounted Price, Premium Price or Actual Price which is called Auction Price.

    How can you calculate return on bonds?

    Let's understand it with an example:

    700GS2021 (7% Interest of GS on 2021(3 year)) is issued on discounted price of 98 and assume you are investing 200 of these bonds. So you paid 200*98 = 19600

    Returns on bonds by Interest paid
    Time Period Interest Cash Flow Comments
    0-6 Months 3.50% 3.5%*100*200=700 Half yearly Interest
    6-12 Months 3.50% 3.5%*100*200=700 Half yearly Interest
    1 to 1.5 Year 3.50% 3.5%*100*200=700 Half yearly Interest
    1.5 to 2 Year 3.50% 3.5%*100*200=700 Half yearly Interest
    2 to2.5 year 3.50% 3.5%*100*200=700 Half yearly Interest
    2.5 to 3 year 3.50% 3.5%*100*200=700 Half yearly Interest
    At maturity 3rd year Principal Repayment 200*100=20000 Additional 400 Rs for
     Discounted Bond Price

    So with the investment of Rs 19600 you will get = 700 + 700 + 700 +700 + 700 + 700 +20000 =24200 Rs which is 7.14% of total investment for 3 year.

What are the advantages of Bonds/T-bills?

  • Lock in Interest Rate – This is really a big advantage we have seen in past bonds, if you have invested in long-term bonds 20 Year or 35 Years, you are locking your interest for a longer run. For example in 923GS2043 – This was issued in 2013 with interest rate of 9.23% for 30 years, so for 30 years you will get 9.23% interest, where the current market price of interest on bond or T-bills is between 7 to 7.50%.

  • Safe Investment/Sovereign Guarantee: Bonds/T-bills are issued by RBI and backed by the Government of India, so they are a safe investment (Sovereign Guarantee). Where FD’s are issued by banks and not considered 100% safe. Return of Interest and principal is guaranteed.

  • No TDS: Interest payment is done on your bank account on a regular interval as dividend and comes under other income in your IT returns, so no TDS.

  • Collateral to avail loan:  Bonds can be used as collateral to avail loan.

  • Can sell in Secondary Market: You can sell / trade bonds in the secondary market.

Comparison of T-Bills/Bonds earning with FD

    Numbers on this table are from average interest paid by major PSU banks and current rate of interest by RBI G-Sec as of Oct 2018. Please validate number again before investing. Rate of interest is keep changing depend on various market / economy conditions.

    Average interest paid by major PSU banks
    Days FD (Yield) G Sec (Yield)
    91 Days 6.25 6.93
    184 Days 6.35 7.29
    364 Days 6.70 7.58
    1 Year 6.42 6.45
    2 Years 6.47 6.8
    3 Years 6.53 7.05
    5 Years 6.4 7.33
    10 Years 6.85 7.92

How can retail Investor invest in Bonds/T-bills with Zerodha Coin?

    With Zerodha Coin retail investors can bid for t-bills between Monday and Tuesday, Bonds between Tuesday and Thursday. Min bid that can be placed is Rs 10,000 and the maximum is Rs 2 Cr. If bids are accepted, the securities will be credited in your demat in two days. In case it oversubscribed and you will not get an allotment, you can try in the next cycle.

    Invest in Government Securities by Zerodha Coin

How much brokerage do I need to pay with Bonds/T-bills Investment with Zerodha?

    Zerodha will charge .06% or Rs 6 for Rs 10,000 investment as brokerage.

Taxation with Bonds/T-bills

    T-Bills: T-Bills are for less than one year and part of buy in discount and sell in premium, so you need to pay short-term capital gain (STCG) on this as per applicable slab rate.

    Bonds: Interest income credited in your bank account every 6 months, so it is considered as income from other source so tax need to pay as per your tax slab.

     In case of any appreciation in the bond price, it is considered capital gain. Long-term  (LTCG) is 10% flat or 20% with indexation. If G-Sec are held for more than 3 years it’s come under LTCG, if less than 3 years then it’s STCG.

Final Thought

    For retail investors buying Government Securities (Bonds/T-Bills) was not an easy process, they need to connect with Bank or large financial institutes to buy GS. That was bit challenging where Banks are more interested to push investor towards their FDs. Recently Zerodha providing an easy and hassle-free environment to start investment in Bonds/ T-Bill via its most popular mutual fund investment app –Zerodha Coin. Now its easy for all retail investors to invest in Bonds/T-bills using zerodha coin mobile app. You need to transfer funds in your trading account, choose T-Bill (Monday and Tuesday) or Bonds (Tuesday to Thursday), apply online. G-secs will be credited to your demat upon successful allotment and all interest payment will be credited to your bank account. Yes, it’s that easy and convenient to grow your money with risk-free and stable investment option online.


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