Basket Bonds: The way to a diversified investment

Introduction

The geopolitical events, that are involving the world economy in recent years, have made increasingly important the access to alternative forms of financing for SMEs with defined strategic plans. In this scenario, an innovative product is represented by the “Basket Bond”, born with the aim of involving institutional investors in supporting the real economy.

The “Basket Bond”, in fact, consists in the securitization process of bonds issued by a group of companies, often united by similar characteristics, that define the specific composition of the basket (underlying assets and securities), together with the terms and conditions of the obligation, including interest rate, maturity.

The basket bonds is considered a unique and increasingly popular financial instrument, that has attracted the attention of investors looking for diversification and tailor-made investment solutions. These bonds, designed to combine multiple debt securities into a single investment product, offer an interesting balance of benefits and challenges. In this perspective, we will explore the world of basket bonds, delving into their advantages, their potential challenges, and the considerations investors should keep in mind when considering them as part of their investment strategy.

What is a Basket Bond?

A Basket Bond is a structured financial product that combines multiple debt securities or assets into a single investment product. These bonds are a form of medium-long term financing issued by corporations, governments, institutional investors or financial institutions, which offer investors, usually SMEs, access to a diversified portfolio of debt instruments in order to find the necessary financial resources to achieve specific growth, innovation and investment objectives or to manage risk.

Basket bonds derive from securitisation of bonds (minibonds) issued by a plurality of companies, often united by similar characteristics, such as belonging to the same production sector, supply chain or geographical area.

Here below we have reported the main benefits and risk that characterise this financial product.

Benefits of investing in a Basket Bond – Why it can be a valuable choice?  

Due to their structure and characteristics, basket bonds constitute a valuable investment opportunity for SMEs to achieve specific investment purposes. The main ones are the following:

  • Diversification and convenience – The primary purpose of basket bonds is to allow investors to access a diversified portfolio of assets and debt securities. By including multiple assets in a single product, it is possible to spread risks, enhance the overall stability of the investment and simplify the management of their portfolio.
  • Risk Management – By combining different bonds or assets into a single structured financial product, basket bonds turn out to be products with a good return and a low risk. Investors can use them as a risk management tool to hedge against interest rate risk or credit risk by selecting assets with specific characteristics that match their risk management goals.
  • No minimum investment required – This financial instrument exceeds the limit of Minibonds, that is, overcoming the difficulty of attracting certain types of investors, who typically consider as possible investment targets only emissions above a certain threshold.
  • Returns – The returns on a basket bond may include interest income, capital gains or losses, coupon payments, and depend on the performance of the underlying assets or securities. The overall return is a weighted average of the returns of its components.
  • Income Generation – Basket bonds can provide a source of regular income through coupon payments, making them attractive to income-oriented investors.
  • Liquidity – It is important to note that the overall liquidity of basket bonds depends on the specific assets included, as some of them may trade in more liquid markets than others.
  • Customization – Basket bonds can be customized to meet the specific investment objectives of different investors. This flexibility allows issuers to create products tailored to the needs of institutional and retail investors.
  • “Showcase” aspect – This operation allows several companies, who decide to get involved together, to present themselves to the public of investors, sharing good managerial practices and relationship with the capital market.

Risks and challenges – What should be considered before investing in Basket Bonds

Despite the benefits offered, basket bonds are not risk-free. The main risks to which investors in Basket bonds are exposed are the following:

  • Market Risk – The returns on basket bonds are influenced by market fluctuations, changes in economic conditions and market sentiment that can impact the performance of the underlying assets.
  • Credit Risk – The credit rating of a basket bond is influenced by the credit quality of the underlying assets. If the components are high-quality bonds, the basket bond is likely to have a higher overall credit rating. Conversely, if the components include riskier assets, the credit rating may be lower.
  • Issuer Risk – Investors should consider the creditworthiness of the issuer of the basket bond. If the issuer comes across financial difficulties, it can affect the bond’s performance, even if the underlying assets are of high quality.
  • Liquidity Risk – The liquidity of a basket bond can be affected by the liquidity of its underlying assets. If some components are illiquid or have limited trading activity, it may be challenging to sell the basket bond in the secondary market.
  • Interest Rate Risk – changes in interest rates can affect the performance of the underlying bonds included in the basket, potentially leading to capital losses if interest rates rise.
  • Management Fees – Depending on the structure of the basket bond, there may be management fees associated with its creation, management, and administration. These fees can reduce the overall return on the investment.
  • Complexity – Basket bonds can be complex financial products, and it could be difficult to fully understand the composition and risks associated with the underlying assets.
  • Interest Rate Risk: Changes in interest rates can affect the performance of the underlying bonds within the basket, potentially leading to capital losses if interest rates rise.
  • Market Correlation – The diversification benefits of basket bonds may be reduced if the assets within the basket are highly correlated with each other.

Conclusion

In conclusion, basket bonds offer to investors different advantages, making them appealing investment opportunities. First of all diversification and customization benefits can help mitigate risk, tailor portfolios to specific investment goals, generate regular income. However, they also come with complexities and risks, such as market fluctuations, credit risks, and issuer vulnerabilities.

Therefore, potential investors should consider and carefully weigh these factors, before investing, on the basis of their individual objectives and risk tolerance to make informed decisions about integrating basket bonds into their investment strategies.

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