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Money Market Instruments

The money market can be defined as a market for short-term money and financial assets that are near substitutes for money. The term short-term means generally a period upto one year and near substitutes to money is used to denote any financial asset which can be quickly converted into money with minimum transaction cost.
Some of the important money market instruments are briefly discussed below;
  1. Call/Notice Money
  2. Treasury Bills
  3. Term Money
  4. Certificate of Deposit
  5. Commercial Papers

Call /Notice-Money Market

Call/Notice money is the money borrowed or lent on demand for a very short period. When money is borrowed or lent for a day, it is known as Call (Overnight) Money. Intervening holidays and/or Sunday are excluded for this purpose. Thus money, borrowed on a day and repaid on the next working day (irrespective of the number of intervening holidays) is "Call Money". When money is borrowed or lent for more than a day and up to 14 days, it is "Notice Money". No collateral security is required to cover these transactions.

Inter-Bank Term Money

Inter-bank market for deposits of maturity beyond 14 days is referred to as the term money market. The entry restrictions are the same as those for Call/Notice Money except that, as per existing regulations, the specified entities are not allowed to lend beyond 14 days.

Treasury Bills

Treasury Bills are short term (up to one year) borrowing instruments of the union government. It is an IOU of the Government. It is a promise by the Government to pay a stated sum after expiry of the stated period from the date of issue (14/91/182/364 days i.e. less than one year). They are issued at a discount to the face value, and on maturity the face value is paid to the holder. The rate of discount and the corresponding issue price are determined at each auction.

Certificate of Deposits

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) is a negotiable money market instrument and issued in dematerialized form or as a Usance Promissory Note, for funds deposited at a bank or other eligible financial institution for a specified time period. Guidelines for issue of CDs are presently governed by various directives issued by the Reserve Bank of India, as amended from time to time.
CDs can be issued by:-
  1. Scheduled commercial banks excluding Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Local Area Banks (LABs); and
  2. select all-India Financial Institutions that have been permitted by RBI to raise short-term resources within the umbrella limit fixed by RBI.
Banks have the freedom to issue CDs depending on their requirements. An FI may issue CDs within the overall umbrella limit fixed by RBI, i.e., issue of CD together with other instruments viz., term money, term deposits, commercial papers and inter corporate deposits should not exceed 100% of its net owned funds, as per the latest audited balance sheet.

Commercial Paper

CP is a note in evidence of the debt obligation of the issuer. On issuing commercial paper the debt obligation is transformed into an instrument. CP is thus an unsecured promissory note privately placed with investors at a discount rate to face value determined by market forces. CP is freely negotiable by endorsement and delivery. A company shall be eligible to issue CP provided –
  1. The tangible net worth of the company, as per the latest audited balance sheet, is not less than Rs. 4 crore;
  2. The working capital (fund-based) limit of the company from the banking system is not less than Rs.4 crore
  3. The borrowable account of the company is classified as a Standard Asset by the financing bank/s.
The minimum maturity period of CP is 7 days. The minimum credit rating shall be P-2 of CRISIL or such equivalent rating by other agencies.

Capital Market Instruments

The capital market generally consists of the following long term period i.e., more than one year period, financial instruments; In the equity segment Equity shares, preference shares, convertible preference shares, non-convertible preference shares etc and in the debt segment debentures, zero coupon bonds, deep discount bonds etc.

Equity Segment

Equity shares- In accounting and finance Equity is the residual claim or interest of the most junior class of investors in assets, after all liabilities are paid. If liability exceeds assets, negative equity exists. In an accounting context, Shareholders' equity (or stockholders' equity, shareholders' funds, shareholders' capital or similar terms) represents the remaining interest in assets of a company, spread among individual shareholders of common or preferred stock.
Shareholders' equity - When the owners are shareholders, the interest can be called shareholders' equity; the accounting remains the same, and it is ownership equity spread out among shareholders. If all shareholders are in one and the same class, they share equally in ownership equity from all perspectives. However, shareholders may allow different priority ranking among themselves by the use of share classes and options. This complicates both analysis for stock valuation and accounting.
Market value of shares - In the stock market, market price per share does not correspond to the equity per share calculated in the accounting statements. Stock valuations, which are often much higher, are based on other considerations related to the business' operating cash flow, profits and future prospects; some factors are derived from the accounting statements.
Equity in real estate - The notion of equity with respect to real estate makes the equity of redemption. This equity is a property right valued at the difference between the market price of the property and the amount of any mortgage or other encumbrance.
Preference shares- Preference shares, or simply Preferreds, are a special equity security that has properties of both equity and a debt instrument and is generally considered a hybrid instrument. Preferreds are senior (i.e. higher ranking) to common stock, but are subordinate to bonds in terms of claim or rights to their share of the assets of the company.
Preference shares usually carry no voting rights, but may carry a dividend and may have priority over common stock in the payment of dividends and upon liquidation. Terms of the preferred stock are stated in a "Certificate of Designation". Similar to bonds, preferred stocks are rated by the major credit rating companies. The rating for Preferreds is generally lower since preferred dividends do not carry the same guarantees as interest payments from bonds and they are junior to all creditors.
Convertible preference shares-
These shares are corporate fixed-income securities that the investor can choose to turn into a certain number of shares of the company's common stock after a predetermined time span or on a specific date. The fixed-income component offers a steady income stream and some protection of the investors' capital. But the option to convert these securities into stock gives the investor the opportunity to gain from a rise in share price. 
Convertibles are particularly attractive to those investors who want to participate in the rise of hot growth companies while being insulated from a drop in price should the stocks not live up to expectations.

Debt Segment

A debenture is a document that either creates a debt or acknowledges it, and it is a debt without collateral. In corporate finance, the term is used for a medium- to long-term debt instrument used by large companies to borrow money. In some countries the term is used interchangeably with bondloan stock or note. A debenture is thus like a certificate of loan or a loan bond evidencing the fact that the company is liable to pay a specified amount with interest and although the money raised by the debentures becomes a part of the company's capital structure, it does not become share capital. Senior debentures get paid before subordinate debentures, and there are varying rates of risk and payoff for these categories.
Debentures are generally freely transferable by the debenture holder. Debenture holders have no rights to vote in the company's general meetings of shareholders, but they may have separate meetings or votes e.g. on changes to the rights attached to the debentures. The interest paid to them is a charge against profit in the company's financial statements.


There are two types of debentures:
  1. Convertible debentures, which are convertible bonds or bonds that can be converted into equity shares of the issuing company after a predetermined period of time. "Convertibility" is a feature that corporations may add to the bonds they issue to make them more attractive to buyers. In other words, it is a special feature that a corporate bond may carry. As a result of the advantage a buyer gets from the ability to convert, convertible bonds typically have lower interest rates than non-convertible corporate bonds.
  2. Non-convertible debentures, which are simply regular debentures, cannot be converted into equity shares of the liable company. They are debentures without the convertibility feature attached to them. As a result, they usually carry higher interest rates than their convertible counterparts.

Zero coupon bonds

A zero-coupon bond (also called a discount bond or deep discount bond) is a bond bought at a price lower than its face value, with the face value repaid at the time of maturity. It does not make periodic interest payments, or have so-called "coupons," hence the term zero-coupon bond. When the bond reaches maturity, its investor receives its par (or face) value. Examples of zero-coupon bonds include U.S. Treasury bills, U.S. savings bonds, long-term zero-coupon bonds and any type of coupon bond that has been stripped of its coupons. 
Deep discount bonds-
A bond that is selling at a discount from par value and has a coupon rate significantly less than the prevailing rates of fixed-income securities with a similar risk profile.

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