Types of Government Securities

Government Securities are of the following types:-

Dated Government securities
Dated Government securities are long term securities and carry a fixed or floating coupon (interest rate) which is paid on the face value, payable at fixed time periods (usually half-yearly).

They are issued at face value.
Coupon or interest rate is fixed at the time of issuance, and remains constant till redemption of the security.
The tenor of the security is also fixed.
Interest /Coupon payment is made on a half yearly basis on its face value.
The security is redeemed at par (face value) on its maturity date.

Zero Coupon bonds :
Zero Coupon bonds are bonds issued at discount to face value and redeemed at par. These were issued first on January 19, 1994 and were followed by two subsequent issues in 1994-95 and 1995-96 respectively. The key features of these securities are:

They are issued at a discount to the face value.
The tenor of the security is fixed.
The securities do not carry any coupon or interest rate. The difference between the issue price (discounted price) and face value is the return on this security.
The security is redeemed at par (face value) on its maturity date.

Partly Paid Stock :
Partly Paid Stock is stock where payment of principal amount is made in installments over a given time frame. It meets the needs of investors with regular flow of funds and the need of Government when it does not need funds immediately. The first issue of such stock of eight year maturity was made on November 15, 1994 for Rs. 2000 crore. Such stocks have been issued a few more times thereafter. The key features of these securities are:

They are issued at face value, but this amount is paid in installments over a specified period.
Coupon or interest rate is fixed at the time of issuance, and remains constant till redemption of the security.
The tenor of the security is also fixed.
Interest /Coupon payment is made on a half yearly basis on its face value.
The security is redeemed at par (face value) on its maturity date.

Floating Rate Bonds :
Floating Rate Bonds are securities which do not have a fixed coupon rate. The coupon is re-set at pre-announced intervals (say, every six months or one year) by adding a spread over a base rate. In the case of most floating rate bonds issued by the Government of India so far,the base rate is the weighted average cut-off yield of the last three 364- day Treasury Bill auctions preceding the coupon re-set date and the spread is decided through the auction. Floating Rate Bonds were first issued in September 1995 in India.

Bonds with Call/Put Option:
Bonds can also be issued with features of optionality wherein the issuer can have the option to buy-back (call option) or the investor can have the option to sell the bond (put option) to the issuer during the currency of the bond. 6.72%GS2012 was issued on July 18, 2002 for a maturity of 10 years maturing on July 18, 2012. The optionality on the bond could be exercised after completion of five years tenure from the date of issuance on any coupon date falling thereafter. The Government has the right to buyback the bond (call option) at par value (equal to the face value) while the investor has the right to sell the bond (put option) to the Government at par value at the time of any of the half-yearly coupon dates starting from July 18, 2007.

Capital indexed Bonds :
Capital indexed Bonds are bonds where interest rate is a fixed percentage over the wholesale price index. These provide investors with an effective hedge against inflation. These bonds were floated on December 29, 1997 on tap basis. They were of five year maturity with a coupon rate of 6 per cent over the wholesale price index. The principal redemption is linked to the Wholesale Price Index.