Report Wire - Are bond platforms a superb possibility for retail buyers?

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Are bond platforms a superb possibility for retail buyers?

4 min read

For Indians, significantly retired ones who’re used to fastened deposits, the concept of hefty curiosity revenue is seductive. A collection of gamers within the personal sector have sought to faucet this demand by launching ‘bond platforms’ the place retail buyers can instantly purchase bonds. The RBI Retail Direct platform additionally addresses this want.

Most Indians are usually not acquainted with the idea of instantly shopping for a bond. Fixed deposits are the commonest fastened revenue devices, adopted by debt mutual funds. Some buyers are acquainted with tax-free bonds from PSUs, however contemporary tax-free bonds haven’t been issued in a number of years by the federal government. The capital positive aspects tax saving bonds beneath Section 54 EC of the Income Tax Act, 1961, are one other acquainted instrument. But these are additionally accessible for a selected function—to save lots of capital positive aspects tax for somebody who has incurred a capital achieve, as an example by promoting property. Past cases of aggressive gross sales of direct bonds to buyers have left a nasty style within the mouth for some, such because the consumers of DHFL bonds or the perpetual bonds of Yes Bank. Both issuers defaulted and a decision scheme for the latter worn out the claims of bond holders.

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Despite these cases, gamers within the bond market really feel that the urge for food is ripe for direct retail funding in bonds.Three massive bond platforms from the personal sector launched in recent times are Altifi by Northern Arc, Bondskart by JM Financial and Wint Wealth whose platform goes by the identical title. Most of those gamers are primarily brokers. Credavenue, a fourth platform which additionally facilitates bond buying and selling is extra centered on corporates, banks and excessive internet price people. They promote bonds that they personal (referred to as prop or proprietary e book holding) to retail buyers. In some instances, they could not have the bond in query, and therefore they procure it from the market. Each platform is completely different. For occasion, Wint Wealth focuses on comparatively excessive danger bonds from NBFCs. ‘Covered bonds’ are an progressive construction that sought to cut back investor danger and therefore improve score generally provided by Wint Wealth. Recent RBI guidelines appear to have put an finish to the marketplace for coated bonds and Wint Wealth has pivoted to ‘Senior Unsecured Bonds’.

However, the platforms give attention to some distinctive promoting factors (USPs). First, they showcase an end-to-end digital course of the place buyers should purchase a bond from the consolation of their house, simply as they’d commerce in shares. Bondskart comes with an app along with an internet site presence. Second, they permit ‘bite-size’ investing. On the bond platforms of inventory exchanges like BSE and NSE, buying and selling occurs in a number of ₹5 crore or extra, primarily reducing out retail buyers. The latter can commerce in ‘odd lots’ however liquidity there tends to be poor. The platforms declare to supply buyers the flexibility to purchase and promote in small quantities of some lakh rupees. Third, they declare to supply buyers a ‘curated experience’ the place the actually dangerous bonds have been culled out. According to JM Financial, the main target might be on AAA and AA bonds.

“The creation of latest bond platforms deepens the market and is therefore welcome. However, I don’t assume that retail buyers ought to instantly spend money on bonds given the dearth of liquidity and worth efficiency danger until the intent is to carry to maturity. Bond buying and selling is just not as straightforward to grasp,” mentioned Roopali Prabhu, chief funding officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.

Apart from the primary declare, the remainder can solely be verified over time. It is unclear whether or not platforms will precise present the liquidity they suggest.

As far as curation goes, the platforms don’t owe buyers a fiduciary responsibility in regulation and therefore there is no such thing as a obligation on them to train utmost due diligence.


Wint’s new bond challenge

Wint Wealth has partnered with UGro Capital to boost ₹50 crore from buyers. The non-convertible debentures of 27-month maturity issued at a coupon of simply over 10% have been issued by UGro. They might be amortized (repaid) each 9 months to an extent of 33% so buyers don’t have to attend until maturity to get again capital. Wint and its ‘warehousing’ companions have purchased the bonds within the major market and might be promoting them to buyers on the secondary market by means of inventory exchanges.

Investors can make investments as little as ₹1,000. The bonds are senior unsecured debentures, which means they’re backed by belongings, on this case loans in opposition to property, in case UGro can’t pay. The platform has raised ₹100 crore thus far in different points because it was launched in 2020 and says it has confronted no default thus far. It says 6,000 buyers and 43,000 customers have expressed curiosity. Sebi norms that did away with a ₹100 crore minimal challenge measurement for public problems with debt have paved the best way for comparable choices, in accordance with Wint.

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