Singapore Savings Bonds vs Singapore Fixed Deposits

 

Singapore Savings Bonds vs Fixed Deposits

Singapore Savings Bonds

The latest issue of Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) have average yields of 1.62% per annum for a 1 year holding period and 1.74% per annum for a 10 years holding period. The minimum investment is $500 with a maximum holding of $200,000 at any point of time. The holding period for SSBs can be up to 10 years with investors being able to redeem their bonds at any point in time without any penalty. The sum invested is guaranteed by the government with no risk of loss of capital. Investors can apply and invest in SSBs from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday excluding Public Holidays at local banks ATMs or online banking using cash or SRS every month. Visit Singapore Savings Bonds website to get the most up-to-date information about the latest issue of Singapore Savings Bonds.

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Average Yield for 10-Years SSBs for Past 12 Months

Nov 18 Dec 18 Jan 19 Feb 19 Mar 19 Apr 19
2.57% 2.45% 2.20% 2.18% 2.16% 2.16%
May 19 Jun 19 Jul 19 Aug 19 Sep 19 Oct 19
2.13% 2.16% 2.01% 1.95% 1.75% 1.74%

Future Direction of Yields for SSBs

Returns for SSBs matches the returns for Singapore Government Securities (SGSs) of the same holding period at the time the SSB is issued. The yields of SGSs have been kept low due to Singapore's strong fiscal position and strong credit rating. Hence, each newer issue of SSBs every month has seen lower yields to match the low yields in SGSs. Recent yields for SSBs have dropped to 2 year record lows of 1.62% per annum for a 1 year holding period and 1.74% per annum for a 10 years holding period, levels that were last seen in 2016. This downtrend in rates is set to continue and could decrease the appeal of SSBs substantially.

Singapore Fixed Time Deposits

Singapore Fixed Time Deposits offer depositors deposit rates of around 1.00% to 2.00% per annum for tenures of anywhere between 3 to 24 months since 2002. Minimum deposit varies widely but is usually around $20,000. Deposits in SRS accounts cannot be placed in fixed deposit accounts. Banks usually do not offer fixed deposits for tenures above 24 months and even if they do, the deposit rates are usually uncompetitive. Withdrawal of fixed deposits before the tenure is up will result in penalties such as depositors forgoing the interest, returning of promotional gifts or even paying a stated penalty. All deposits in Singapore including fixed deposits are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation for a sum of up to $75,000. Depositors can open a fixed deposit account anytime at any bank branches and even through online banking for certain banks.

Future Direction of Fixed Deposit Interest Rates

Fixed Deposit interest rates have been dropping ever since the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates recently in view of a possible economic slowdown. The trend has accelerated in the past few months or so as fears of a recession increase and is most noticable in August 2019. Fixed deposit rates have peaked in mid 2019 and is now trending downwards.

Singapore Savings Bonds vs Fixed Time Deposits

A quick look at Highest Fixed Deposit Interest Rates in Singapore will show that most banks offer higher fixed deposit rates as compared to the 1.62% per annum that SSBs yield if your holding period is 1 year. Comparatively, if your holding period is for the full 10 years, SSBs average yield of 1.74% per annum is also lower as compared to Singapore Fixed Time Deposits assuming you renew your fixed deposits at current interest rates everytime their tenure is up. This makes SSBs not attractive to depositors looking for alternative financial products.

With a minimum purchase of $500 and a maximum holding of $200,000 worth of SSBs at any point of time, SSBs are quite restrictive for savers who want to park more than $200,000 in a safe investment. They are however ideal for Singaporeans who have less than $200,000 and are looking to growing their money instead of leaving them in their savings or SRS accounts.

SSBs are extremely liquid as they can be redeemed anytime and the capital will be back in the investor's account within a month without any penalty. Comparatively, depositors incur a penalty when they withdraw a fixed deposit before its tenure is up. Both SSBs and fixed deposits are extremely safe with loss of capital extremely unlikely even in the event of a financial crisis.

Park your money in Fixed Deposits but Monitor Yields of Singapore Savings Bonds

Singapore Savings Bonds can cover the needs of most Singaporeans who want to save for the long run and it makes sense to invest in it as an alternative product to short term fixed deposits that banks can offer currently. Investors/savers will get more certainty of the interest rates over the course of 10 years if they purchase SSBs as compared to fixed deposit interest rates which fluctuate with market conditions. SSBs provide a competitive product to fixed deposits with higher returns for depositors in the long term and is a free gift from the goverment.

However, the yields of SSBs are low compared to Singapore Fixed Time Deposits and SSBs yields have been dropping faster than fixed deposit rates. It could be a race to the bottom but fixed deposit rates are currently more attractive than SSBs with higher returns. Depositors can continue to monitor the yields of SSBs and only buy them if their yields exceed Singapore Fixed Time Deposits.

 

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Thomas Fong
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Apr 2018
Thomas Fong says...

How can I apply for this?

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Money Lobang
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Money Lobang says...

You may apply for it at local banks ATMs or online internet banking from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday excluding public holidays. For more information please refer to http://www.moneylobang.com/singapore-savings-bonds.php

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Yang Junwei
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Yang Junwei says...

Nice analysis but guess people are still wary about SSBs because it is an investment product while fixed deposits are more straightfoward.

 

 

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