Understanding The Risks And Rewards Of Callable Bonds

callable bond definition

The early repayment of callable bonds results in shortened portfolio durations. A callable bond is a bond that can be redeemed by its issuer before the maturity date. The issuer will usually only redeem a bond when interest rates fall, so that it can issue replacement bonds at a lower interest rate, thereby reducing its interest expense.

RefinancingRefinancing is defined as taking a new debt obligation in exchange for an ongoing debt obligation. In other words, it is merely an act of replacing an ongoing debt obligation with a further debt obligation concerning specific terms and conditions like interest rates tenure. American OptionAn American option is a type of options contract that can be exercised at any time at the holder’s will of the opportunity before the expiration date. It allows the option holder to reap benefits from the security or stock at any time when the safety or supply is favorable. A European option is the exact opposite of an American option wherein the option holder cannot sell the option until the day of expiration, even when it is favorable. In addition, there is no geographical connection concerning the names since it only refers to the execution of the options trade.

Corporate Bond Markets After 2008

But the price of a callable bond will not rise much above its call price, no matter how low interest rates go, because dropping interest rates increase the likelihood that it will be called. Callable bonds are issued by the corporates considering the flexibility it provides to the issuers. They can call the bonds anytime they want during the bond tenure by paying the price higher than the par value.

  • The issuers would call the bond if interest rates go lower than the existing bond rate.
  • After calling its current bonds, the issuer can then reissue them at a lower interest rate.
  • When interest rates fall, most bond prices rise, but callable bond prices fall when rates fall—a phenomenon called “price compression.” However, callable bonds offer some interesting features for experienced investors.
  • None of the bonds are callable, and holders likely would want to see the shares rise past the conversion price to make up for any forgone interest.
  • This calling leaves the investor exposed to replacing the investment at a rate that will not return the same level of income.

Callable bonds are preferred in an economy where the interest rates are volatile, and it is expected that the interest rates may fall in the future. It gives the issuer an option to call the bonds before maturity, and to compensate for this; investors are paid a little higher interest than the market rate. Both issuers and investors carry certain risks, and the investment plan has to be decided based on the needs and expectations. The investors could not get benefited from the high market rates – The other disadvantage of the callable bond is that the investors would not be able to benefit from the high market rates.

Примеры Для Callable Bond

When the bond is called, the bondholder receives the par value and does not receive any more coupons. Callable bonds are issued to allow the issuers to hedge against interest rate risk. 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. However, to protect the bondholder, most callable bonds also include call protection which prevents the bonds from being called for a certain period of time and thereby guarantees the current interest rate for that time. As more and more investors become “bankers” rather than stock pickers, callable bonds should fit into the “loan portfolio” of these bankers-investors. The compensation to the investor comes not from exposure to credit risk, but from interest rate volatility risk and from servicing the issuer’s need for revolving credit and managing liquidity. Ex ante, the compensation is built into the higher yield to call and yield to maturity relative to non-callable bonds.

callable bond definition

European OptionA European option can be defined as a type of options contract that restricts its execution until the expiration date. In layman’s terms, once an investor has purchased a European option, even if the underlying security’s price moves in a favourable direction, the investor cannot take advantage by exercising the option early. In this case, if, as of November 31, 2018, the interest rates fell to 8%, the company may call the bonds and repay them and take debt at 8%, thereby saving 2%. Company ‘A’ has issued a callable bond on October 1, 2016, with an interest of 10% p.a maturing on September 30, 2021. The bond is callable subject to 30 days’ notice, and the call provision is as follows.

Puttable Bonds

An issuer might be able to achieve a better rate because of an improvement in its credit rating or due to changes in market conditions. Similar issues arise for callable bonds in the municipal, corporate, and government agency sectors. Some common types of bonds with embedded options include callable bond, puttable bond, convertible bond, extendible bond, and exchangeable bond. In this example, Sharp Razor has an option to redeem the bonds from investors before the bonds mature on Oct. 30, 2021. The original call premium is higher at 10 percent of the bond’s face value, and over time it gradually declines to 4 percent. If rates have declined from the time the company or city first issued the bond, the issuer may want to refinance its debt at a lower interest rate.

  • This situation came when the investors had already invested in a low-rated bond, their funds get blocked, and cannot purchase the other bonds that provide high coupon rates.
  • The premium for the option sold by the investor is incorporated in the bond by way of the higher interest rate.
  • Using an arbitrage argument, no investor would accept a five-year callable bond with a coupon rate of 3 percent.
  • These investments combine a bullet (regular non-call) bond with a short option, which affords the issuer an opportunity to call/buy back the bond and return the principal to the investor.

A callable bond also called a redeemable bond, can be called by the issuer before the maturity date. However, callable bonds come with an embedded call feature that investors are aware of. Theoretically, without computing the optimal exercise boundaries in a term structure model, one cannot tell whether the bonds in Figures 4 and 5 should or should not be exercised by the issuer. Optimal exercise occurs when the present value of the bond’s cash flows is equal to the unexercised value of the option.


Bankrate.com does not include all companies or all available products. An option is a derivative contract that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an asset by a certain date at a specified price. An interest rate refers to the amount charged by a lender to a borrower for any form of debt given, generally expressed as a percentage of the principal. A debt for bond swap is a debt swap involving the exchange of a new bond issue for similar outstanding debt. Gordon Scott has been an active investor and technical analyst of securities, futures, forex, and penny stocks for 20+ years. He is a member of the Investopedia Financial Review Board and the co-author of Investing to Win.

callable bond definition

Both sets of investors would be better off choosing 3 percent non-callable bonds. To pay investors for the call/extension risk, the callable structure has to offer a yield higher than 3 percent, perhaps 4 percent. The extra 1 percent yield premium reflects the annuitized value of the embedded option. callable bond definition Note that the yield premium can be stated relative to the six-month bullet bond or to the five-year bullet bonds . Government Obligation or a specific payment of principal of or interest on any such U.S. Government Obligation or the specific payment of principal of or interest on the U.S.


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. Issuers would need to pay higher coupon payments to investors, raising the cost of capital. A callable bond offers several advantages to the issuers and investors. Issuers can add an embedded option to redeem bonds after a specific period. A callable bond can be redeemed by the issuer before it matures https://accounting-services.net/ if that provision is included in the terms of the bond agreement, or deed of trust. But these benefits aren’t without their tradeoffs, so it’s important that investors carefully consider their investment options and fully understand what they are getting themselves into. It’s a good idea to talk to your investment professional about the characteristics of any bond’s call provisions and the likelihood that the bond will be called before investing.

callable bond definition

Call schedules, lockouts, amortization indices, and/or amortization schedules for a particular bond may be unique, so investors should understand these elements prior to making a purchase decision. When you buy a bond, you are lending money in exchange for a certain interest rate over a set number of years until the maturity date. Paul Conley is an expert in investing and bonds with more than 30 years of experience in financial reporting, editing, and administrating. He spent three years at Bloomberg as an editor for stories covering bonds, and two years as a producer for CNN Money. The call feature allows issuers to take advantage of low-interest rates when available. A bond that is subject to redemption by its issuer before maturity. The price and other conditions are disclosed in the bond’s indenture.

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A call feature is an embedded option that provides further flexibility to the issuers. Callable bonds are issued in a high-interest rate environment where issuers hope for a decline in the interest rates in the future. A callable bond can be redeemed by the issuers at any time before its maturity date. The issuers would call the bond if interest rates go lower than the existing bond rate. Thus, investors are prone to a reinvestment risk with a callable bond.

What Is A Callable Bond?

The main risk of a callable bond is the embedded short option that the bond holder provides the issuer. In Figure 1, a five-year 4 percent coupon bond callable in six months can turn out to be a six-month bond or a five-year bond, or a term in between, say, 18 months if the bond is callable American-style. The issuer exercises when the option is “in the money,” and interest rates have fallen low enough that the present value of the remaining coupons and principal3 exceeds par . At that time, the holder would prefer to keep the bond but is forced to reinvest at a low rate. In that case, the holder might prefer to have the principal returned to be able to reinvest at a higher rate and not be stuck with a low-yielding bond. At mid-level yields, the bond extends, but if the original yield premium is high, the locked-in yield may still exceed yields on new bonds. Callability allows the bond to be called at the discretion of the issuer within certain limits.

Most public school districts, for example, issue bonds to fund building projects. And if an issuer called back its bonds, that likely means interest rates fell. That’s great news for the issuer, because it means it costs them less to borrow, but might not be great news for you. You may find it difficult—if not impossible—to find a bond with a similar risk profile at the same rate of return. You might find that the best rate you can get for your $10,000 reinvestment is 3.5%, leaving you with a gap of $150 per year on your expected return.

Yield on a callable bond is higher than the yield on a straight bond. Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word callable bond. Make sure that the callable bond you buy offers enough reward to cover the additional risk you take on.

Issuers must clearly specify whether their bonds are callable, and the precise terms of the call option, when the bonds are first offered for sale. None of the bonds are callable, and holders likely would want to see the shares rise past the conversion price to make up for any forgone interest.


These bond issuers create bonds to borrow funds from bondholders, to be repaid at maturity. 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. Let’s say Apple Inc. decides to borrow $10 million in the bond market and issues a 6% coupon bond with a maturity date in five years.

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