Multi-flavoured bonds from ICICI.|
Are they really worth investing in? We look at each one of them piece by piece. Dr C M Kulshreshtha
Last month, ICICI, with an authorised share capital of Rs 6,950 crore ($1.5 billion), had offered for public subscription unsecured redeemable bonds to the extent of Rs 300 crore with a right to over subscription upto Rs 300 crore. Now on March 17, it launched a second series of bonds for Rs 400 crore. This offer closes on March 31. The variety is the same, but with one vital difference ? the coupon rates have been slashed by more than half a percentage point in less that just three weeks.
The most attractive feature of these bonds is the vast variety of options. It has targeted five main segments of investors, ranging from the upper to the lower middle classes. And even within each segment it has options that would suit different requirements.
The choice is thus for not just multi-flavoured ice creams, but other types of deserts too.
Here are some of the common features of these bonds.
* Credit rating is the highest - triple A.
* Listing on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to ensure liquidity.
* The minimum subscription is Rs 5,000 (except in a few cases where it is higher).
* Nomination facility is available.
* The amount of interest is fully taxable. Tax is deducted at source in case the amount exceeds Rs 25,000 in a financial year.
* These bonds - except Tax Saving Bonds - can be pledged with the ICICI Bank as security against loans.
* Interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum is also given from the date of application to the date of allotment - a fair deal to investors......<continued--->