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Singapore launches savings bonds

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has opened applications for the first $1.2 billion (US$850 million) Singapore savings bond, offering a 2.63% average return on bonds held for 10 years. 04 Sep 2015

Interest rates on the bonds are calculated using the market-determined interest rates of Singapore Government Securities, MAS said in a statement. The statement includes a table of average returns to give investors a reference for comparison with other savings and investment products.

Investors will need an individual central depository (CDP) account, with a direct crediting service, available through the CDP's website, by telephone, at a CDP counter or through a broker.

Account holders will then be able to apply through the ATMs of a range of banks, and through some internet banking services, MAS said. The authority warned that applications for CDP accounts take at least two weeks.

Bonds can be bought in multiples of $500 up to a maximum of $50,000 in a single issue, MAS said. A $2 charge will be made for each application.

Investors should note that bonds are not allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, MAS said.

"Instead, savings bonds are allotted after all applications have been collected, in a way that distributes the available bonds as evenly as possible to maximise the number of successful applicants.  This means that if a savings bond is over-subscribed, investors who applied for larger amounts may not get the full amount they applied for," it said.

Applications will close on 25 September and MAS will announce the allotment results after 4pm on 28 September.

Returns will be paid on 1 April and 1 October each year.

A new savings bond will be issued every month for at least the next five years, MAS said, "so there is no need to rush for the first issue". Depending on demand, up to $4 billion of savings bonds could be issued in 2015