Bonds – additional information
The bond market, also known as the credit or fixed income market, is a market that trades in debt. The two most well known parts of the bond market are the primary and secondary capital markets. The primary market is the market that deals with the issuance of new securities and is an important part of the financial markets system. The bonds issued on the primary market are subsequently traded on the secondary markets.
A bond is an instrument of indebtedness. The issuer of the bond is obliged to pay the bond holder the principal amount and the pre-agreed interest when the bond reaches maturity. The interest rates are generally payable at fixed intervals. Bonds provide the borrower with external funds in order to finance long-term investments, or, where government bonds are concerned, to finance government expenditure.
Bonds are most often bought and traded by institutions such as central banks, pension funds or hedge funds. They are generally seen as being less volatile that stocks, especially the short and medium termed bonds. Bonds suffer from less day-to-day volatility than stocks but are still subject to risk. They are subject to credit and liquidity risks, among others.