Guide to Bond Investment in Singapore

Guide to Bond Investment in Singapore
Table of Contents

Are you curious about the world of bond investment in Singapore? Whether you are a local resident or an international investor exploring new opportunities, delving into the Singapore bond market can be rewarding. This comprehensive guide is designed to introduce the different types of bonds in Singapore, especially for beginners.

Here, you will gain insights into the diverse types of bonds available, understand the process of how to buy bonds in Singapore, and uncover valuable tips to maximize your investment returns. So, whether you are looking to diversify your portfolio or seeking a stable investment avenue, this guide is your starting point in the bond market of Singapore.

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What Are Bonds?

In the realm of investment, bonds represent a form of debt investment where you, as an investor, lend money to an entity – typically a corporation or government body. This entity then uses your funds for a predetermined period, promising to pay you back with a fixed interest rate.

In the context of Singapore, bonds are often viewed as a relatively safe investment choice. They offer a regular stream of income through interest payments, making them an attractive option for those who prefer steady returns over the volatility often associated with stock markets. Moreover, bonds in Singapore come in various forms, catering to different risk appetites and investment strategies. From government-backed securities known for their stability to corporate bonds that offer potentially higher yields, the Singapore bond market presents a spectrum of opportunities for investors.

Types of Bonds

Here are some of the best types of bonds to buy in Singapore:

Singapore Government Securities (SGS) Singapore Corporate Bonds Bond Exchange-Traded Funds (Bond ETFs)
Description These are Singapore bonds issued by the government, known for their low risk. These are among the most popular types of bonds to buy in Singapore. These bonds are issued by private corporations, typically offering higher returns than SGS. These are ETFs that invest in bonds, offering diversification.
Characteristics Stable returns, government-backed, ideal for risk-averse investors. Varying risk levels based on the company's credit rating, potentially higher returns. Trades like a stock, diversified investment, lower risk compared to individual corporate bonds.

What Determines The Interest Rates On Bonds?  

When investing in bonds in Singapore, the interest rate of the bond is one of the most important factors that will determine how profitable this investment will be. The interest rates on bonds in Singapore are not arbitrary figures; they are influenced by a confluence of critical factors as listed below:

  • Issuer’s Creditworthiness: 

This refers to the issuer's (the one who issued the bond) ability to repay the debt, which is often assessed by credit rating agencies. Higher-rated issuers, perceived as less risky, typically offer lower interest rates. Conversely, bonds from issuers with lower credit ratings, which carry higher risk, often come with higher interest rates as a form of compensation for the investors taking on more risk.

  • Liquidity: 

The ease of buying and selling the bond.

  • Maturity Period: 

Generally, bonds with longer maturity periods tend to offer higher interest rates to compensate investors for locking in their money for a more extended period, which inherently carries more uncertainty and risk, especially in a changing economic environment.

  • Prevailing Market Interest Rates:

This is influenced by the monetary policy of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and global economic conditions. As market interest rates fluctuate, so do the interest rates of newly issued bonds. For instance, if market rates increase, new bonds may offer higher interest rates to remain competitive.

Interested in learning about investing in stocks? Read our article "Top 5 Dividend Stocks in Singapore".

How To Buy Bonds In Singapore?

Investing in bonds in Singapore is a process that is accessible to most investors, whether seasoned or novices. The most common avenue to purchase bonds is through banks, brokerage firms, or online trading platforms. Each of these channels offers a range of bond options, from government to corporate bonds. Here are the step-by-step instructions for buying bonds:

  1. Set up a brokerage account

This is a relatively straightforward process. It is important to choose a brokerage that aligns with your investment needs, considering factors like commission fees, platform usability, and customer support. Brokerages that you can trade bonds on include Saxo Markets, UOB Kay Hian, OCBC Securities, DBS Vickers Securities, Phillip Securities, and CGS-CIMB Securities. Once your account is set up, you can start trading bonds.  

  1. Understand the fee structure

This would be crucial before you begin. Brokerages typically charge a commission for bond transactions, and these fees can vary significantly between brokers. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any other costs associated with bond investing, such as custody fees or charges for accessing certain markets.

  1. Consider the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) Program  

Explore the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) program, a distinctive and accessible option for investing in government bonds. This program is particularly appealing for its low-risk profile, making it an excellent choice for beginners in bond investing. The SSBs offer flexibility in terms of investment duration and are backed by the Singapore government, ensuring a high level of security. 

In summary, buying bonds in Singapore involves selecting the right brokerage, understanding the fee structure, and choosing bonds that align with your investment goals and risk tolerance. With a range of options available, from government securities to corporate bonds, the Singapore bond market offers diverse opportunities for investors to diversify their portfolios and earn steady returns.

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What to Look Out for When Investing in Bonds in Singapore

  • Issuer’s Creditworthiness:

This refers to the issuer's ability to repay the debt, which is often assessed by credit rating agencies. Higher-rated issuers, perceived as less risky, typically offer lower interest rates. Conversely, bonds from issuers with lower credit ratings, which carry higher risk, often come with higher interest rates as a form of compensation for the investors taking on more risk.

  • Liquidity:

The ease of buying and selling the bond.

  • Maturity Period:

Generally, bonds with longer maturity periods tend to offer higher interest rates to compensate investors for locking in their money for a more extended period, which inherently carries more uncertainty and risk, especially in a changing economic environment.

What to Look Out for When Investing in Bonds by Freepik.com

Pros And Cons Of Buying Bonds in Singapore

Pros Cons
Stable income through interest payments Lower returns compared to stocks
Lower risk compared to equities Interest rate risk and credit risk
Diversification of investment portfolio Inflation risk
Payments are guaranteed and made regardless of profitability. Unable to benefit from company’s growth.

Would you like to learn more about other types of investments? Read our article "Best Investments in Singapore".

How to Protect and Maximize Your Portfolio

Investing in bonds in Singapore offers stability and lower risk, but for those seeking to enhance their portfolio's potential, diversifying with alternative investments is key. This is where Kilde, an innovative investment platform, comes into the picture, offering a unique approach to maximizing returns.

Investing with Kilde offers several compelling benefits for enhancing your portfolio. It provides the opportunity to earn high yields, potentially up to 13.5% p.a., significantly surpassing typical market returns. A major advantage is the absence of transaction costs, allowing for more efficient investment growth.

Click here to learn more about how Kilde can assist you in your investing goals.

Kilde grants access to a diverse range of carefully vetted senior secured private credit deals, ensuring quality and variety in investment choices. The platform simplifies the investment process by offering pre-prepared opportunities, saving time and effort for investors. 

Balancing Stability and Growth

Investing in bonds in Singapore offers a unique blend of stability and potential for steady income, making it an attractive option for both local and international investors. Whether you are drawn to the low-risk profile of Singapore Government Securities (SGS), the potentially higher yields of corporate bonds, or the diversified nature of Bond ETFs, the Singapore bond market caters to a wide range of investment preferences and strategies.

Remember that the key to success lies in understanding the various options available, assessing your risk tolerance, and strategically diversifying your investments.

With the right mix of bonds and alternative investments like those offered by Kilde, you are well on your way to building a strong, diversified portfolio that aligns with your financial goals and investment style.

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Sources:

  1. investopedia.com
  2. finance.yahoo.com

*KILDE PTE LTD (“Kilde”) is incorporated in Singapore (registration no. 201929587K) is licenced and regulated by the Monetary Authority Singapore and holds a Capital Markets Services Licence (CMS101016) and an Exempted Financial Advisor License under the Financial Adviser Act. The information provided in this marketing material is intended for “accredited investors” and “institutional investors” (collectively “qualified persons”) only. This marketing material, and any information in this marketing material, or any documentation that Kilde provides in relation to this marketing material is provided without any representation or any kind of warranties whatsoever (whether express or implied by law).

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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Radek Jezbera
Founder & co-CEO of KILDE, a regulated platform for alternative investments.
Aleksandra Yurchenko TEST
Aleksandra is managing investor relations at KILDE
Aleksandra Yurchenko
Aleksandra is managing investor relations at KILDE

FAQ

How can I buy corporate bonds in Singapore?

To buy corporate bonds in Singapore, investors typically need to open a brokerage account. After that, they can browse through available corporate bond offerings and make purchases based on their investment strategy and risk tolerance.

What should I know about corporate bonds in Singapore?

Corporate bonds in Singapore are debt securities issued by corporations. Investors receive interest payments and the return of principal upon maturity. These bonds can offer higher yields compared to government bonds but also carry higher risks.

How can I start to invest in bonds in Singapore?

To start investing in bonds in Singapore, you should first assess your investment goals and risk appetite. Then, you can either invest through a brokerage account or participate in bond funds. Understanding the market and different types of bonds is crucial.

What is the application process for investing in bonds?

The application process usually involves setting up a brokerage account, completing necessary KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures, and then applying for bond purchases through the platform provided by the brokerage.

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