Bond Covenant

DEFINITION of 'Bond Covenant'

A legally binding term of an agreement between a bond issuer and a bond holder. Bond covenants are designed to protect the interests of both parties. Negative or restrictive covenants forbid the issuer from undertaking certain activities; positive or affirmative covenants require the issuer to meet specific requirements.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bond Covenant'

Possible bond covenants might include restrictions on the issuer's ability to take on additional debt, requirements that the issuer provide audited financial statements to bond holders and limitations on the issuer's ability to make new capital investments. When an issuer violates a bond covenant, it is considered to be in technical default. A common penalty for violating a bond covenant is the downgrading of a bond's rating, which could make it less attractive to investors and increase the issuer's borrowing costs.

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