- Technical Guide -
Government of Canada Market Debt Instruments
Effective October 1995 Government of Canada marketable bonds are issued in global certificate form only whereby a global certificate for the full amount of the bonds is issued in fully registered form in the name of CDS & Co., a nominee of the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited (CDS). The bonds must be purchased, transferred or sold, directly or indirectly, through a participant of the Debt Clearing Service, which is operated by CDS, and only in integral multiples of $1,000 (face value). Prior to December 1993 Government of Canada bonds were issued in coupon-bearer and fully registered form, and were available in denominations ranging from $1,000 to $1,000,000. Between December 1993 and September 1995 Government of Canada bonds were issued only in fully registered form. All Canadian-dollar marketable bonds are non-callable and pay a fixed rate of interest semi-annually.
Effective November 1995 all new issues of Treasury bills are issued in global certificate form only whereby a global certificate for the full amount of the Treasury bill is issued in fully registered form in the name of CDS & Co., a nominee of the CDS. Treasury bills must be purchased, transferred or sold, directly or indirectly, through a participant of the Debt Clearing Service, which is operated by CDS, and only in integral multiples of $1,000 (face value). Prior to November 1995 Treasury bills were issued in bearer form and were available in denominations ranging from $1,000 to $1,000,000.
The Government of Canada also periodically issues cash management bills (CMBs). CMBs are Treasury bills with maturities of less than three months (they can be as short as one day) used as a source of short-term financing for the Government. CMB auctions can take place on any business day, typically for next-day delivery, but on some occasions for same-day delivery.
Government of Canada real return bonds (RRBs) pay semi-annual interest based upon a real interest rate. Unlike standard fixed-coupon marketable bonds, interest payments on RRBs are adjusted for changes in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI, for the purposes of RRBs, is the all-items CPI for Canada, not seasonally adjusted, published monthly by Statistics Canada. The semi-annual nominal coupon payments are calculated as follows:
= real coupon rate/2 x (principal + inflation compensationi) where inflation compensationi
= ((principal x reference CPIi/reference CPIbase) – principal).
Reference CPI for the first day of any calendar month is the CPI for the third preceding calendar month. The reference CPI for any other day in a month is calculated by linear interpolation between the reference CPI applicable to the first day of the month in which such day falls and the reference CPI applicable to the first day of the month immediately following. The reference CPIbase for a series of bonds is the reference CPIi applicable to the original issue date for the series.
At maturity bondholders will receive, in addition to a coupon interest payment, a final payment equal to the sum of the principal amount and the inflation compensation accrued from the original issue date, i.e. final payment = principal + ((principal x reference CPImaturity/reference CPIbase) – principal).
These bonds must be purchased, transferred or sold, directly or indirectly, through a participant of the Debt Clearing Service and only in integral multiples of $1,000 (face value).
Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs) are offered for sale by most financial institutions in Canada. In addition, a significant number of organizations sponsor the Payroll Savings Program, thus allowing many Canadians to purchase CSBs through payroll deductions.
Except in certain specific circumstances, CSBs can be registered only in the name of residents of Canada. They are available in both regular interest and compound interest forms. For those CSBs which are certificated, denominations range from $100 ($300 for a regular interest bond) to $10,000. All CSBs are non-callable and, except in certain limited circumstances, non-transferable.
CSBs provide minimum guaranteed annual interest rates. The minimum guaranteed annual interest rate will be increased if market conditions warrant, but the bondholder will not earn less than the rate announced for that series for the posted period. CSBs are cashable at any time and, after the first three months, pay interest up to the end of the month prior to encashment. Principal and interest are fully backed by the Government of Canada.
The Canada Premium Bond (CPB) was introduced by the Government of Canada in 1998. Like CSBs, CPBs are offered for sale at most financial institutions in Canada.
CPBs offer a higher rate of interest at the time of issue compared to the CSB on sale at the same time, and are redeemable once a year on the anniversary date of the issue and during the 30 days thereafter without penalty. Once an issue date has passed, the announced interest rates for the posted period will not be changed. CPBs are available in both regular interest and compound interest forms. The compound interest bond is available for as little as $100 while the regular interest bond is available starting from $300. Principal and interest are fully backed by the Government of Canada and this bond is non-callable.
Canada Bills are promissory notes denominated in US dollars and issued only in book-entry form. They mature not more than 270 days from their date of issue, and are discount obligations with a minimum order size of US$1,000,000 and a minimum denomination of US$1,000. Delivery and payment for Canada Bills occur in same-day funds through JPMorgan Chase Bank New York.
Primary distribution of Canada Bills occurs through four dealers: CIBC Wood Gundy Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Rates on Canada Bills are posted daily for terms of one to six months.
Canada Bills are issued for foreign exchange reserve funding purposes only.
Canada Notes are promissory notes usually denominated in US dollars and available in book-entry form. They are issued in denominations of US$1,000 and integral multiples thereof. At present the aggregate principal amount outstanding issued under the program is limited to US$10.0 billion. Notes can be issued for terms of nine months or longer, and can be issued at a fixed or a floating rate.
The interest rate or interest rate formula, issue price, stated maturity, redemption or repayment provisions, and any other terms are established by the Government of Canada at the time of issuance of the notes and will be indicated in the Pricing Supplement. Delivery and payment for Canada Notes occur through the Bank of New York.
The notes are offered by the Government through five dealers: Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Lehman Brothers Inc., Nesbitt Burns Securities Inc. and Scotia Capital Markets (USA) Inc. The Government may also sell notes to other dealers or directly to investors.
Canada Notes are issued for foreign exchange reserve funding purposes only.
A cross-currency swap is an agreement that exchanges one type of return for another (e.g. a fixed for a floating rate of interest) and the principal amount for the term of the swap. Cross-currency swaps of domestic obligations are a cost-effective alternative to foreign-currency-denominated bond issues as a means of meeting the Government’s targets for longer-term foreign currency funding.
- Technical Guide -