What is a 'Coupon Equivalent Yield (CEY)'
The coupon equivalent yield (CEY) is a method of calculation used to calculate the yield on bonds with maturities of less than one year and which generally sell at a discount. These CEYsÂ do not pay coupons.
BREAKING DOWN 'Coupon Equivalent Yield (CEY)'
Another way to think about coupon equivalent yield (CEY) is as the stated rate of return on bonds without accounting for any compounding. Bonds almost always pay interest semiannually, the coupon equivalent yield must be compounded just as often to produce the actual annual yield. ThisÂ calculation is a measure used by many banks in advertising certificates of deposit.
The CEY calculation allows bond investors to compare the return on a 180day Treasury bill to a oneyear coupon paying bond. Investors may use this to evaluate which instrument will give them a higher performance.Â
The formula for calculating CEY is:
 (Market price â€“ Face value) x (365/Days until maturity)
Borrowers typically make interest payments more than once aÂ year, andÂ bondÂ payments are no different. The typicalÂ coupon bondÂ pays interest once every six months. Investors have the opportunity to reinvest those payments and increase their return on investment (ROI). TheÂ couponÂ equivalentÂ yieldÂ helps the investor calculate precisely what that improved return is, or would have been.
However, it is important toÂ noteÂ that the formula assumes the investor can reinvest those interest payments at a rate equal to theÂ bond'sÂ coupon rate. ThisÂ ability is not always possible, depending on prevailingÂ marketÂ rates and the investor's financial goals. Typically, an investor in couponpayingÂ bondsÂ calculates their yieldÂ based on theÂ coupon rateÂ and theÂ face valueÂ of theÂ bond. However, these twoÂ basesÂ do not apply to zerocoupon bonds.
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It is important to remember that zeroÂ couponÂ bonds do pay interest. Instead, theÂ issuerÂ pays it out uponÂ maturity. Also, zerocoupon bonds do not sell atÂ face value but trade at a discount. At maturity, the investors typically receive more than their investment. Thus, the CEY uses the investor's actual initialÂ investmentÂ as aÂ basisÂ for calculatingÂ yield, allowing the investor to compare returns from zerocoupon with bonds that pay coupons.
Example of Coupon Equivalent Yield
For example, a 12percent coupon, $1,000 principal bond pays $60 in interest every six months, resulting in a 12.36 percent yield because the first $60 payment each year can be reinvested to earn an additional $3.60 during the latter half of the year.

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