Presentation on Government securities
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Presentation on Government securities

Government securities /Gilt edged Securities
The marketable debt issued by the government or semi government bodies, which represents a claim on the government is known as government securities or Gilt edged securities.


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Government securities

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The Government securities market has witnessed significant changes during the past decade. Introduction of an electronic screen based trading system, dematerialized holding, straight through processing, establishment of the Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) as the central counterparty (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 market.
Major participants in the Government securities 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 and other funds etc. These entities are mandated to invest in Government securities through respective regulations. However, some of these new entrants have often found it difficult to understand and appreciate various aspects of the Government securities market.

What is a Government Security?
A Government security 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). Government securities carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments. Government of India also issues savings instruments (Savings Bonds, National Saving Certificates (NSCs), etc.) or special securities (oil bonds, Food Corporation of India bonds, fertiliser bonds, power bonds, etc.). They are, usually not fully tradable and are, therefore, not eligible to be SLR securities.

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. For example, a 91 day Treasury bill of Rs.100/- (face value) may be issued at say Rs. 98.20, that is, at a discount of say, Rs.1.80 and would be redeemed at the face value of Rs.100/-. The return to the investors is the difference between the maturity value or the face value (that is Rs.100) and the issue price (for calculation of yield on Treasury Bills please see answer to question no. 26).

Cash Management Bills (CMBs)
Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue a new short-term instrument, known as Cash Management Bills (CMBs), to meet the temporary mismatches in the cash flow of the Government. The CMBs have the generic character of T-bills but are issued for maturities less than 91 days. Like T-bills, they are also issued at a discount and redeemed at face value at maturity.

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). The tenor of dated securities can be up to 30 years.

State Development Loans (SDLs)
State Governments also raise loans from the market. SDLs are dated securities issued through an auction similar to the auctions conducted for dated securities issued by the Central Government (see question 3 below). Interest is serviced at half-yearly intervals and the principal is repaid on the maturity date. Like dated securities issued by the Central Government, SDLs issued by the State Governments qualify for SLR. They are also eligible as collaterals for borrowing through market repo as well as borrowing by eligible entities from the RBI under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF).

Why should one invest in Government securities?
Holding of cash in excess of the day-to-day needs of a bank does not give any return to it. Investment in gold has attendant problems in regard to appraising its purity, valuation, safe custody, etc. Investing in Government securities has the following advantages:

A. Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks
Section 24 of the Banking Regulation Act 1949, (as applicable to co-operative societies) provides that every primary (urban) cooperative bank shall maintain liquid assets, which at the close of business on any day, should not be less than 25 percent of its demand and time liabilities in India (in addition to the minimum cash reserve requirement). Such liquid assets shall be in the form of cash, gold or unencumbered Government and other approved securities. This is commonly referred to as the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) requirement.

B. Rural Co-operative Banks
As per Section 24 of the Banking Regulation Act 1949, the State Co-operative Banks (SCBs) and the District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) are required to maintain in cash, gold or unencumbered approved securities, valued at a price not exceeding the current market price, an amount which shall not, at the close of business on any day, be less than 25 per cent of its demand and time liabilities as part of the SLR requirement. DCCBs are allowed to meet their SLR requirement by maintaining cash balances with their respective State Co-operative Bank.

C. Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)
Since April 2002, all the RRBs are required to maintain their entire Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) holdings in Government and other approved securities. The current SLR requirement for the RRBs is 24 percent of their Demand and Time Liabilities (DTL).

Commercial Paper (CP)
Commercial Paper (CP) is an unsecured money market instrument issued in the form of a promissory note. Corporates, primary dealers (PDs) and the all-India financial institutions (FIs) that have been permitted to raise short-term resources under the umbrella limit fixed by the Reserve Bank of India are eligible to issue CP. CP can be issued for maturities between a minimum of 7 days and a maximum up to one year from the date of issue.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)
Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a negotiable money market instrument and issued in dematerialised form or as a Usance Promissory Note, for funds deposited at a bank or other eligible financial institution for a specified time period. Banks can issue CDs for maturities from 7 days to one a year whereas eligible FIs can issue for maturities 1 year to 3 years.


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