Bond Issuers Meaning
Bond Issuers are the entities that raise and borrow money, from the people who purchase the bonds (Bondholders), with the promise of paying periodic interest and repayment of the principal amount upon maturity of the bonds.
An entity needing money can borrow the same by issuing bonds, which are purchased by bondholders. Technically, a bond issuer is a borrower, and the bondholder is the lender of the money.
Till the maturity of the bond, the bond issuer pays periodic (can be annual/ semi-annual) interest to the bondholders, and upon maturity, the issuer returns the principal amount borrowed to the holder of the bond.
The following are a few of the features of Bond Issuers:
- Entity: They can be non-individual entities only, i.e., bonds can’t be issued by an individual.
- The requirement of Money: Bond Issuer’s issue bonds when they are in requirement of funds for a variety of reasons ranging from daily operational needs to need for funding expansion for growth of the business, etc.
- Contractual Promise for Payment: They enter into a contract by way of issue of bonds whereby they are liable to pay periodic interest to bondholders and to repay the principal loan amount upon maturity of the bond.
- Rating: In order to issue a bond, Bond issuers are recommended, if not required, to get a credit rating from a credit rating agency. The rating tells about the creditworthiness of the issuer, i.e., its ability to pay the interest and principal. For example, the rating of a developed country like the US would be higher than any developing country like Thailand, implying that the bonds issued by the US would be relatively less risky than those issued by Thailand.
Types of Bond Issuers
#1 – Corporations
Corporations are one of the largest categories of Bond Issuers. Both private and public corporations issue bonds to raise money for a variety of reasons. These may range from funding their day to day operations to expanding their existing businesses. Corporations include financial institutions, public sector undertakings, and other private companies.
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For example, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook might issue bonds to finance their needs. Here these three entities are the bond issuers.
#2 – Governments
The government of a nation issues bonds in order to fund their various welfare measures or for other investment purposes. Government is generally considered relatively less risky than corporate issuers. They usually pay out interest on bonds and repay the principal from their revenue, such as taxes.
For example, the US government issues treasury bonds with borrowing money. These bonds are backed by the full support of the government.
#3 – Supranational and Multilateral Entities
These are entities that are not based in a particular nation. It includes entities like World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), etc. These issuers are also highly rated and less risky because of their global standing.
World Bank issues somewhere between US$50-US$60 billion annually to support the financing of programs that support the Sustainable Development Goals.
Examples of Bond Issuers
For example, ABC Ltd. is considering raising certain money by issuing bonds to fund its upcoming project. It issues 5-year bonds of ₹500 crores to the investors, agreeing to pay 9% interest semi-annually to the bondholders. Upon the completion of 5 years, it will repay the amount borrowed along with interest.
Here, ABC Ltd. is the Bond Issuer.
Few recent examples of Corporate Bond Issuers are:
- A US-based airplane manufacturer, Boeing, has recently issued bonds and raised money to the tune of US$25 billion in the month of April 2020.
- Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. raised ₹8,500 crores in three-year bonds in April 2020.
- Efficient Allocation of Capital: Bond Issuers play a vital role in capital markets by participating via issuing bonds. The excess capital with some investors can be deployed into more productive use when investors lend that money to bond issuers for their use.
- Dependency on Equity Capital: Dependency on raising money via equity shares is reduced when money can be raised by a company by acting as a bond issuer.
- Lower cost of Capital: The cost of raising capital by issuance of bonds is lower than the cost of raising capital by equity. This helps the issuer in reducing its overall cost of capital as interest on bonds is relatively lower than expected return on equity.
- Fixed Interest Obligation: Since there is a periodic interest payment which is required to be made by the bond issuers in case of bonds, this would increase the fixed cash flow burden to the issuer even when the issuer is not able to generate cash flows from its operations due to economic downturn. Interest in bonds is mandatory to pay, whereas the dividend on equity shares is optional; hence an issuer who is in the difficult financial situations might be at a disadvantage by raising money through bonds.
- Limitations on Use: Bond Issuer might be mandated by the bond agreement to use the proceeds of the bonds in certain areas only. This would lead to limited power and control to the issuer over where the borrowed money should be used.
- Detrimental to shareholders in case of Liquidation: A corporation must pay the interest and principal when they are due, despite the financial condition of the issuer. The bondholders have a preference over shareholders upon liquidation; hence the shareholders might not favor this avenue much.
Bond Issuers play an important role in the capital markets, helping the inefficient allocation of capital by raising money from the investors. Issuers get the desired money for carrying out their projects or daily activities, and bondholders also get a decent return on their excess capital. Issuers play that link between the excess capital with the investors and the investment project, which requires funds for their usage.
This has been a guide to Bond Issuers and its meaning. Here we discuss features, types, and examples of bond issuers along with advantages and disadvantages. You may learn more about financing from the following articles –