A:

A callable bond provides the issuer (borrowing entity) with an option to redeem the bond before its original maturity date. The ability to call a bond gives the issuer a way to respond to falling interest rates, a circumstance that allows the issuer to refinance this debt at a lower rate of interest.

Callable bonds often pay investors a higher interest rate than noncallable bonds to compensate for uncertainty and also may pay a premium for early termination of the investment. If a callable bond's coupon (interest rate) is higher than prevailing rates at the time of the call, investors won't be able to reinvest their capital in a comparable bond at as high a yield.

While it might seem reasonable to assume that in a declining interest rate environment a callable bond's price would exceed the bond's call price, experience tells us that this isn't a given. Investors need to know that there is a risk that the price at which the bond is redeemed could be below the bond's current price.

For more insight, read Call Features: Don't Get Caught Off Guard and What are the risks of investing in a bond?

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RELATED TERMS
  1. Callable Bond

    A bond that can be redeemed by the issuer prior to its maturity. ...
  2. Call Risk

    The risk, faced by a holder of a callable bond, that a bond issuer ...
  3. European Callable Bond

    A bond that can be redeemed by the issuer at a predetermined ...
  4. American Callable Bond

    A bond that can be redeemed by the issuer at any time prior to ...
  5. Hard Call Protection

    The period in the life of a callable bond during which the issuing ...
  6. Bond

    A debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity ...
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