The Government Security (G-Sec) market in India has observed considerable changes during the past decade. Introduction of an electronic screen based trading system, dematerialized holding, establishment of the Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) as the Central Counter Party (CCP) for guaranteed settlement, new instruments, and changes in the legal environment are some of the major aspects that have contributed to the rapid development of the G-Sec market.
Major participants in the G-Secs market historically have been large institutional investors. With the various measures for development, the market has also witnessed the entry of smaller entities such as co-operative banks, small pension, provident and other funds etc. These entities are mandated to invest in G-Secs through respective regulations.
Here, are the banking team of Jagran Josh is providing the details about the G-sec market in India.
What is a Bond?
A bond is a debt instrument in which an investor loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) which borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states and sovereign governments to raise money and finance a variety of projects and activities. Owners of bonds are debt holders, or creditors, of the issuer.
What is a Government Security (G-Sec)?
A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation. Such securities are short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more).
In India, the Central Government issues both, treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs). G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.
i. Treasury Bills (T-bills)
Treasury bills or T-bills, which are money market instruments, are short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India and are presently issued in three tenors, namely, 91 day, 182 day and 364 day. Treasury bills are zero coupon securities and pay no interest. They are issued at a discount and redeemed at the face value at maturity.
ii. Cash Management Bills (CMBs)
In 2010, Government of India, in consultation with RBI introduced a new short-term instrument, known as Cash Management Bills (CMBs), to meet the temporary mismatches in the cash flow of the Government of India. The CMBs have the generic character of T-bills but are issued for maturities less than 91 days.
iii. Dated G-Secs
Dated G-Secs are securities which carry a fixed or floating interest rate which is paid on the face value, on half-yearly basis. Generally, the tenor of dated securities is between 5 years and 30 years. In the recent auction calendar for dated G-Secs, there is a plan to issue 40 year dated security in 2015-16.
How are the G-Secs issued?
G-Secs are issued through auctions conducted by RBI. Auctions are conducted on the electronic platform called the E-Kuber, the Core Banking Solution (CBS) platform of RBI. Commercial banks, scheduled UCBs, Primary Dealers, insurance companies and provident funds, who maintain funds account and securities accounts with RBI, are members of this electronic platform. All members of E-Kuber can place their bids in the auction through this electronic platform.