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Secured Bond

Updated on April 22, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Secured Bond?

A secured bond is a type of bond in which the issuer of the bond provides a specific asset as collateral for the bond and offers a reduced rate of interest compared to unsecured bonds. In case of default, the secured bondholders need not worry as the issuer is obligated to transfer the title of the collateralized asset to the bondholder.

What Is A Secured Bond

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Thus, it is a debt instrument that is backed by assets which provides protection to the bondholder in case the issuer defaults. Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS), Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) are some examples of secured bonds. They have a priority during payment as compared to unsecured bondholders. However, due to low risk profile, the interest rates offered is also very low.

How Does Secured Bond Work?

A secured bond is the one that is backed by some specific assets that provide protection to the bondholders in case the issuer defaults. The assets may be in the form of investory, plant and equipment, real estate, that are pledged to the bondholder to provide security.

In case the issuer is not able to make the payment due to bankruptcy or liquidation, these bondholders get a priority over other bonds regarding payment. They can claim the collaterals to recover the investments.

Various factors help in the valuation of these types of senior secured bond. The most important of them is the issuer’s credit rating and the value of the assets used as collateral. If the issuer has good creditworthiness and the collaterals have good value in the market, then the risk is very lower. However, low risk also means the secured bonds interest rate is very low as compared to secured bonds.

But it is important to understand that even though they are backed by security, they are not totally risk-free. If the value of the assets falls or if the credit rating of the issuer falls, the bondholders may face losses.

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Types

Secured Bond

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#1 – Mortgage Bonds

Mortgage bondsMortgage BondsA mortgage bond refers to a debt instrument backed by mortgaged assets such as equipment or real estate such as property, building, etc. It is a secured bond since the bondholders can recover their funds by selling the underlying collateral.read more are typically backed by real estate holdings or tangible property such as equipment. In case of default, the mortgage bondholders can sell off the underlying pledged property and get compensated for the invested amount—the ownership of the asset shifts to bondholders in case of default. As mortgage bonds are safer than corporate bondsCorporate BondsCorporate Bonds are fixed-income securities issued by companies that promise periodic fixed payments. These fixed payments are broken down into two parts: the coupon and the notional or face value.read more (no collateral), they have a lower rate of returnRate Of ReturnRate of Return (ROR) refers to the expected return on investment (gain or loss) & it is expressed as a percentage. You can calculate this by, ROR = {(Current Investment Value – Original Investment Value)/Original Investment Value} * 100read more.

#2 – Equipment Trust Certificate (ETC)

ETC refers to debt instrumentsDebt InstrumentsDebt instruments provide finance for the company's growth, investments, and future planning and agree to repay the same within the stipulated time. Long-term instruments include debentures, bonds, GDRs from foreign investors. Short-term instruments include working capital loans, short-term loans.read more that allow the issuing company to take possession and use the asset while paying the bondholders over the period of time. The ownership of the asset is, without a doubt, belonging to the bondholdersBondholdersA bondholder is an investor who buys or holds a government or corporate bond.read more, but the company can use and generate income out of it. Investors supply capital by buying certificates; in turn, helping firms buy assets and lease it to them for operations if the borrower can meet lenders’ payment requirements, the ownership is transferred to the borrower. In case of default, the lenders get to choose what needs to be done with the assets.

Firms need not pay property tax on an asset as they have just leased the same from investors and thus increase their profitabilityProfitabilityProfitability refers to a company's ability to generate revenue and maximize profit above its expenditure and operational costs. It is measured using specific ratios such as gross profit margin, EBITDA, and net profit margin. It aids investors in analyzing the company's performance.read more from operations. These types of debentures are usually seen in the airline and shipping industry (also with railway cars).

#3 – Secured Bonds by Municipalities

Municipalities can raise funds from investors by issuing these types of senior secured bond for a specific project. The anticipated revenue from that particular project backs the bonds. Upon disclosing the project’s details and expected income, municipal bodies put forward the repayment strategy or plan to the investors. Investors can buy these types of bonds depending on their trust in the projects.

Examples

Let us try to understand the concept with the help of some examples.

Let us assume that there is a company named Agro Capital which needs to raise money for funding its agricultural projects. Therefore, the management decides that they will raise debt in the form of issuance of secured bonds worth $ 300 million. These bonds will be backed by assets in the form of agricultural loans of the company worth $350 million.

Thus, in this case, the agricultural loans act as collateral for the bonds. However, if the borrowers default in paying the loans used as security, the bondholders will suffer losses.

Advantages

Just as every financial concept and instrument has its own advantages and disadvantages, so does this concept. Let us try to understand the advantages first.

Disadvantages

The following are the disadvantages of the financial instrument.

Secured Bond Vs Unsecured Bonds

Both the above two types of debt securities are used in the financial market. Let us try to identify the differences between them.

  • The most important difference is that the former is backed by assets which provides security to the bondholders in case of default whereas the latter is without any backed asset.
  • The risk involved in case of the former is very low as compared to the latter due to the collateral used in case of the former.
  • Due to low risk, the interest rate of fully secured bond is lower as compared to the latter because the bondholders need less compensation because they are at a lower risk of loss.
  • The former has a priority in case of payment during default by the issuer. The bondholders of secured bonds get their principal and interest due before any unsecured bond. They can claim the assets used as collateral to recover the loans.

However, it is always a good idea to do proper research and understand the creditworthiness of the issuer of bonds and make informed decisions about any investment opportunity.

This has been a guide to what is a secured bond and its definition. Here we discuss its types along with the examples, advantages, and disadvantages. You can learn more about investment banking from the following articles –