MAS has announced a cut-off yield of 3.9% for the latest treasury bill (issuance date 24th November 2022), a drop from the previous t-bill which in turn was a drop from its predecessor.
T-bills have picked up national popularity in recent months, especially with a recent t-bill hitting a 34-year high of 4.19% p.a. A total of $11.9 billion was applied for this time, with only $4.8 billion offered.
Non-competitive bids get the cut-off yield of 3.9% p.a. and have 77.78% of their subscribed amount filled. If you placed a non-competitive bid of $10,000, you will get either $8,000 or $7,000. This is because the amount will be rounded off on a random basis to keep to a $1,000 denomination.
Competitive bids above 3.9% p.a. will not get any allotted, while those under 3.9% p.a. will be fully allotted.
Seeing as how I can get as much as 4.65% p.a. interest from OCBC 360, I placed a competitive bid of 4.05%. I did not do a non-competitive bid as it means taking the cut-off yield of the auction, which at 3.9% p.a. is lower than what I can get from my bank account.
This t-bill and the previous one have been decreasing in yield despite the climate of rising interest rates we are in, and this is ostensibly due to retail investors bidding low to ensure their desired sums are fully allocated. I have even heard of people bidding 0.01% p.a. for this, so this may not be very far from the truth.
A recent 3-month t-bill for institutions closed at a handsome 4.5% p.a. rate, so this lends further credence to individual investors skewing the yield lower with low bids:
There are also theories that institutions – the ones with the real financial muscle to shift the yield – are expecting rate hikes to be softer in the months to come, and thus bidding lower.
Whatever the reason, we can only control what we can, and bid competitively to avoid getting a yield that is less than what we desire. This is increasingly relevant as rates seem to be coming down a little, at least for t-bills. We can also look at some alternatives to place our funds, and I have updated the Savings page with some of the latest promos and fixed deposit rates for November.
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