Bond Futures

What is Bond Futures?

Bond Futures is a contract that puts liability on the holder to purchase and sell a fixed amount of bonds as specified in the contract agreement at a price which is predetermined by the contract holder where the other side is the exchange. It can be bought and sold in the exchange market, the price and dates are standardized at the time when an agreement is entered into by the holder.

How the Bond Future is Priced?

One of the most popular bond futures is treasury bond futures contracts traded by CME Group. In this, any government bond that has more than 15 years to maturity on the first day of the delivery month and is not callable within 15 years from that day can be delivered. The 10, 5, and 2-year Treasury note futures contracts in the united states are prevalent.

The future price for the treasury bond is difficult to determine because the short party’s options concerned with the timing of delivery and the choice of the bond that is delivered cannot be easily valued. However, if we assume that both the cheapest to deliver bond and the delivery date is known, the treasury bond future contract is a futures contract on traded security that provides the holder with known income. The below equation shows that the future price (F0) of the bond is related to the Spot price (S0)

FO = (S0-I) e (rT)


  • I – the present value of the coupons during the life of the futures contract
  • T –  is the time until the maturity futures contract
  • r – is the risk-free rate


Suppose an investor enters into a treasury contract to deliver a bond @ 12 % coupon with a conversion factor of 1.6000 where the delivery will take place in 270 days. Coupons are payable semi-annually on the bond, and the last coupon date was 60 days ago, the next coupon date is in 122 days, the coupon date thereafter is in 305 days. The term structureTerm StructureThe term structure is the graphical representation that depicts the relationship between interest rates and various maturities. The graph itself is called a “yield curve.” The term structure of interest rates plays an essential part in any economy by predicting the future trajectory of more is flat, and the interest rate is 10% per Annum. Assume that the current quoted bond price is $115.

The cash price of the bond is obtained by adding the quoted price the proportion of the next coupon payment that accrues to the holder.

  • = $115+(60/ (60+122)) * 6
  • = $116.978

A coupon of $6 will be received after 122 days (.3342 years). The present value of this

  • = 6*e(-.1*0.3342)
  • = 5.803

The future contract lasts for 270 days (0.7397). The cash future price if the contract is written on a 12 % bond would be

  • = (116.978-5.803) e (0.1*.7397)
  • = $119.711

There are 148 days of accrued interest from delivery. If the contract is written on a 12 % bond, accrued interest is excluded in order to calculate the quoted future price.

  • = (119.711-6) + 148/(148+35)
  • = $114.859

The quoted futures price is given below considering 1.6000 conversion factor equivalent to a 12% standard bonds

  • = 114.859/1.6000
  • = 71.79

How to derive Cheapest to deliver Bonds in Bond Futures Contact?

The party with the short position or the writer of the bond chooses the bond that is cheapest to deliver among a wide variety of bonds. And his decision is based on the below derivation :

(Most Recent Settlement Price * Conversion Factor) + Accrued interest interest

And the cost of purchasing the bond is,

Quoted Bond Price + Accrued Interest

The cheapest to deliver bond is one for which below is the least.

Quoted Bond Price – (Most Recent Settlement Price * Conversion Factor)

The number of factors determines the cheapest to deliver the bond. If bond yieldsBond YieldsThe bond yield formula evaluates the returns from investment in a given bond. It is calculated as the percentage of the annual coupon payment to the bond price. The annual coupon payment is depicted by multiplying the bond's face value with the coupon more reach 6%, the conversion factor system enables the writer to deliver long maturity low coupon bonds. When yields are below 6%, then high short-term coupon bondsCoupon BondsCoupon bonds pay fixed interest at a predetermined frequency from the bond’s issue date to the bond’s maturity or transfer date. The holder of a coupon bond receives a periodic payment of the stipulated fixed interest more are favored.

Also, when the yield is upward sloping, there is a tendency for bonds with long maturity to be favored, whereas when it is downward sloping, bonds with short term maturity will be delivered.

What are Bond Futures Conversion Factors?

(Most Recent Settlement Price *Conversion Factor) + Accrued Interest
  • Each contract is for the delivery of $100000 face value of bonds. Suppose that the most recent settlement price is 90-00, the conversion factor for the bond delivered is 1.3800, and the accrued interest on this bond at the time delivery is $3 per $100 face value.
  • The cash received by the party with the short position is then(1.3800*90.00) +3 = $127.20 per $ 100 face value. A party with the short position is one contract that would deliver bonds with a face value of $10,000 and receive $127,200.

How is it Quoted?

This contract is quoted in dollars and thirty seconds of dollar per $100 face value. This is similar to the way bonds and notes are quoted in the spot market. Let’s say the settlement price of this contract for June 2017 delivery is specified as 124-150. This means 124 (15/32) or 124. 46875. Taking the next example, if the settlement price of September 2017 is quoted as 120-105 means 120 (10.5/32) or 120.328125.


One of the important interest rate contracts is Treasury bond contracts traded in the United States. The party with the short positionShort PositionA short position is a practice where the investors sell stocks that they don't own at the time of selling; the investors do so by borrowing the shares from some other investors to promise that the former will return the stocks to the latter on a later more has a number of interesting delivery options:

  • Delivery can be made any day during the delivery month.
  • There is a number of alternative bonds that can be delivered.
  • On the day of the delivery month, the notice of intention is to deliver at 2.00 pm, and settlement price can be made any time up to 8.00 pm.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to What is Bond Futures. Here we discuss what bond future conversion factors and how it is quoted along with an example are. You can learn more about from the following articles –

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *