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About SLBM, IPO and Bonds

Corporate bonds are debt securities issued by private and public corporations. Companies issue corporate bonds to raise money for a variety of purposes, such as building a new plant, purchasing equipment, or growing the business. When one buys a corporate bond, one lends money to the "issuer," the company that issued the bond. In exchange, the company promises to return the money, also known as "principal," on a specified maturity date. Until that date, the company usually pays you a stated rate of interest, generally semiannually. While a corporate bond gives an IOU from the company, it does not have an ownership interest in the issuing company, unlike when one purchases the company's equity stock.

Corporate bonds tend to rise in value when interest rates fall, and they fall in value when interest rates rise. Usually, the longer the maturity, the greater is the degree of price volatility. By holding a bond until maturity, one may be less concerned about these price fluctuations (which are known as interest-rate risk, or market risk), because one will receive the par, or face, value of the bond at maturity. The inverse relationship between bonds and interest rates-that is, the fact that bonds are worth less when interest rates rise and vice versa can be explained as follows:

  • When interest rates rise, new issues come to market with higher yields than older securities, making those older ones worth less. Hence, their prices go down.
  • When interest rates decline, new bond issues come to market with lower yields than older securities, making those older, higher-yielding ones worth more. Hence, their prices go up.
  • As a result, if one sells a bond before maturity, it may be worth more or less than it was paid for.

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