Junk bond

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 1, 2024.


A junk bond, also known as a high-yield bond, is a type of corporate bond that is considered to have a higher risk of default compared to investment-grade bonds.

What are junk bonds?

These bonds are typically issued by companies with lower credit ratings or a less stable financial position. The term “junk” reflects the higher risk associated with these bonds.

Investment-grade bonds are bonds issued by companies or governments with strong creditworthiness, meaning they are less likely to default on their debt payments. In contrast, junk bonds are issued by companies that may have a history of financial difficulties, higher debt levels, or lower credit ratings from credit rating agencies.

Because of the higher risk involved, junk bonds offer investors higher interest rates or yields as compensation for taking on the added risk. Investors who are willing to accept this risk may be attracted to junk bonds as they can potentially provide higher returns. However, the trade-off is that there is a greater chance of the issuer failing to make interest payments or repay the principal when the bond matures.

Investors in junk bonds should carefully assess the financial health of the issuer and consider their risk tolerance before investing, as the potential for higher returns comes with a higher level of risk.

Example of junk bond

Let’s consider a fictional company, XYZ Corporation, in need of capital for expansion and growth. acing difficulties in obtaining favourable terms from traditional lenders, XYZ explores alternative financing options. The company decides to issue high-yield or junk bonds to attract investors willing to take on higher risk in exchange for potentially higher returns.

Given the higher risk associated with junk bonds, XYZ offers an interest rate that is significantly higher than what would be offered by investment-grade bonds.

The funds raised through the issuance of junk bonds are used by XYZ Corporation to finance its expansion projects, such as building new manufacturing facilities, upgrading technology, and increasing production capacity.

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