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Another name for debt that can be traded

There are many types of debt instrument under the “catch-all” title of Bonds.  They are also referred to as “Fixed Income”. They include sovereign or government debt (e.g. UK gilts, US treasuries, etc.), Supranational (e.g. The World Bank, ECB) and bonds issued by companies or institutions to raise capital.

Bonds are characterised as paying a fixed rate of interest (coupon) for a set period of time and then returning the initial loan amount.

Bonds appear all along the risk spectrum from government bonds issued by developed economies to large highly rated companies, emerging markets governments and companies through to high yielding lowly rated companies. It is not correct to see all bonds as “low risk”.

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