Investors find corporate bonds’ high interest rates attractive

By Dat Nguyen   July 8, 2020 | 11:00 pm PT
Investors find corporate bonds’ high interest rates attractive
A bank employee counts Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Corporate bond issuances in the first half were worth VND159 trillion ($6.9 billion), a 50 percent year-on-year increase.

They are attracting increasing interest since they offer higher interest rates than banks, top brokerage SSI Securities Corporation said.

The rates range from 10.1 to 11.2 percent for bonds with maturity ranging from 12 months to five years, or 1.8-4 percentage points higher than deposit interest rates offered by major banks.

The four state-owned lenders, Vietcombank, BIDV, Vietinbank, and Agribank, recently lowered their rates on 12-month deposits from 6.5 to 6 percent, and private banks by 0.4-0.8 percentage points.

Retail investors are showing rising interest in corporate bonds, directly buying VND22.7 trillion ($986 million) worth of bonds in the first six months, or 15 percent of the total, compared to 10 percent last year. They were more interested in bonds issued by automaker VinFast and conglomerate Masan.

Investors are able to buy bonds easily now through their stock trading accounts and bank accounts.

But the rising interest in bonds has been worrying authorities. The Ministry of Finance has issued several warnings to private investors in recent months on the high interest rates on corporate bonds, saying they could be hurt if the companies run into financial difficulties.

The government is seeking to tighten corporate bond issuance norms after some companies issued bonds worth 50-100 times their equity last year.

The value of corporate bond issuances increased by 25 percent since 2018 to VND280 trillion ($12 billion) last year, according to SSI.

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