Singapore Savings Bonds rolled out for first issue

The MAS is set to issue between $2 billion and $4 billion of SSBs this year across three planned issuances.
The MAS is set to issue between $2 billion and $4 billion of SSBs this year across three planned issuances.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) rolled out the first issue of Singapore Savings Bond (SSBs) on Tuesday (Sept 1), promising a 2.63 per cent average annual return if they are held for 10 years.

The interest rate - or rate of return - of the first issue SSBs will start at 0.96 per cent for the first year, data released by the MAS showed. The rate will then go up to 1.09 per cent for those holding the bonds into the second year, which translates to an average annual return of 1.02 per cent.

For the third year, the rate of return will be 1.93 per cent, which means an average annual return of 1.32 per cent. Thereafter, the rate will go up to 3.7 per cent for the tenth year, when the average annual return hits 2.63 per cent.

This reflects the "step up" feature of the 10-year bonds, which ensures gradually increasing returns for those who hold the bonds longer.

A total of $1.2 billion of SSBs will be issued for this first tranche, which will be open for application between 6pm on Tuesday and 9pm on Sept 25.

Interested investors must have an Individual Central Depository (CDP) securities account complete with Direct Crediting Service. They can then apply through the ATMs of DBS, POSB, OCBC and UOB, or through internet banking services of DBS and POSB.

The SSBs can be applied in multiples of $500, up to a maximum $50,000 for a single issue. Returns will be paid out twice yearly - on April 1 and Oct 1 - for as long as the bonds are held.

"SSBs are allotted after all applications have been collected in a way that distributes the available bonds as evenly as possible to maximise the number of successful applicants. This means that if a Savings Bond is over-subscribed, investors who applied for larger amounts may not get the full amount they applied for," MAS said, adding that the allotment results of the first issue will be announced on Sept 28.

 

First announced in March, the SSBs have drawn investors' attention for their flexibility and security. Unlike the regular bonds, the SSBs still offer accrued return to investors who wish to redeem the bonds ahead of the full 10-year tenor. The investment is also capital guaranteed, and is backed by the Singapore government.

The MAS is set to issue between $2 billion and $4 billion of SSBs this year across three planned issuances. It is also committed to issue every month for at least the next five years.

whwong@sph.com.sg