Help investors understand bonds better

Investors like me are still not clear about the roles and responsibilities of the various parties when a company issues bonds.

What are the roles of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the lead issuing bank when a company wants to issue bonds?

Do they assess the balance sheet to ensure current debts are cleared before allowing the company to take on additional debt that would continue to balloon?

Do bank relationship managers advise their clients on the risk and the company's details, or are they simply order takers?

Can the Securities Investors Association of Singapore provide advice to investors so that they can make an informed investment decision?

There is so much talk about retail bonds but still no action in this area ("More bonds a boon for investors"; June 9, and "New option to help retail investors buy bond issues"; May 20).

Retail bonds will allow investors to spread their risks by buying into bonds of more companies in smaller amounts, instead of having to fork out a minimum sum of $250,000 on a single company.

Goh Geok Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2016, with the headline 'Help investors understand bonds better'. Print Edition | Subscribe