From: Vicki Cowan, Assistant to Kim McKenzie
Re: Bond Features: Effects and Benefits to Coupon Rate
Answers to questions regarding bond features and how they will positively and negatively affect the coupon rate per Kim McKenzie. 1. The security of the bond: whether the bond has collateral. The more secure the bond is to the investor, the lower the interest rate or bond coupon. Therefore, with collateral backing the bond, the coupon will be lower. The disadvantage of using company collateral to back the bonds is, the asset used as collateral cannot be sold during the term of the bond and must maintain its value. 2. Seniority of the bond.
The seniority of the bond is the order in which bonds will be paid in the event of bankruptcy. The more senior the bond, the higher priority of being paid if there is a bankruptcy, and the lower the coupon rate because the risk to the bond owner is lower. 3. The presence of a sinking fund.
A sinking fund is an account set up by the trustee of the bonds. The trustee saves and pools money to purchase, pay off, or call bonds early. Setting up a sinking fund will lower the risk, thus lowering the coupon rate. The risk to the company is not having available funds to feed the trust. 4. A call provision with specified call dates and call prices. A call provision could be included to call the bonds if interest rates drop substantially. The call provision will raises the coupon rate but protect you from paying a high rate for a long period in the event rates drop. 5. A deferred call accompanying the call provision.
A deferred call accompanying the call provision would give the bond purchaser a protection period where the bond could not be called. Adding this provision will prohibit you from calling the bond for a set time (call period), and puts you at risk of paying a high interest rate for the deferred period. Therefore, you...