The economic damage caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make steep reductions in its repo rates in the recent past causing banks to lower their interest rates on fixed deposits to 2.5% to 6% per annum. At this rate, one's savings will not be able to beat inflation, which was 6.93% in July and 6.69% in August this year in India, as per latest government data released on Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of retail inflation.
In a volatile market situation, where most conservative investors would want to secure their savings in bank fixed deposits rather than risk them in the stock markets, a moderate risk alternative to bank FDs is company/corporate FDs.
What are Company/Corporate Deposits?
Investors can place their money with companies who borrow money from the public for their operations or to lend to their customers. These deposits are popularly offered by financial institutions and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) that mobilise these funds to lend to their customers. These are also made for a fixed tenure like bank FDs but offer higher interest rates when compared to banks because there is an element of risk involved.
These deposits are governed by the Companies Act and are unsecured, that is, if the company defaults in paying interest or principal due to weak financial situation, the investor losses money. These also available for tenures of 1 year and above only and come with strict pre-mature withdrawal norms.
Company FD investments need to be made after due diligence and risk assessment rather than just the attractive interest rate.
One needs to consider tax implications (TDS on interest), ratings on the FD or company (rating agencies rate these investment based on the company's previous track record of paying interest/ principal on time and future risks of defaults) and background on the company offering the fixed deposits scheme to take an informed decision.
Here are 3 such company fixed deposits with high interest rates:
1. Shriram City Union Finance/ Shriram Transport Finance
Interest rates on non-cumulative deposits (yearly interest payment) effective from 1 August 2020 for investment only through online mode:
|Tenure in months||Yearly interest (%) per annum|
Higher interest rates
- Additional interest of 0.40% will be paid to Senior citizens
- Additional interest of 0.25% on all renewals, where the deposit is matured on or after 1 November 2019.
- Additional interest of 0.15% to employees of Shriram Group Companies and their relatives.
- In Non-cumulative deposits, the interest is payable in monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual instalments. It is suitable for individuals or pensioners who are looking for a periodical income. Interest will be paid to NEFT only.
- Both Shriram City Union Finance and Shriram Transport Finance offer same interest rates for respective tenures and have the same features for additional interest.
Rs 5,000 and in multiples of Rs 1,000 thereof.
- "MAA+/ with Stable Outlook" rating by ICRA (Indicates high credit quality) for Shriram City Union Finance FD.
- Shriram Transport Finance has been rated "FAAA/Negative" by CRISIL and "MAA+/with Stable Outlook" by ICRA.
2. Bajaj Finance Ltd.
With effect from 4 July 2020, the highest interest rate offered by the NBFC on deposits up to Rs crores (on cumulative deposits) is 7.10% on the tenure of 36-60 months. For 24-25 months, interest offered is 7%, and for 12 to 23 months, interest offered is 6.90%.
Higher interest rates
Bajaj Finance offers 0.25% additional interest on regular rates to senior citizens, existing loan Customers, FD Renewal Customers and its employees. This means that they will get 7.35% interest for 36-30 month deposits.
Further, regular investors can get 0.10% extra, that is 7.20% interest on the same by investing online, the company says on its website.
Bajaj Finance has "FAAA" rating from CRISIL, which indicates that the degree of safety regarding timely payment of interest and principal is strong. It also has a "MAAA" rating from ICRA which means high-credit-quality.
3. Mahindra Finance
The Mahindra Finance Samruddhi Fixed Deposits offer up to 6.45% per annum interest with the maximum effective yield per annum being 7.34%.
Interest rates of deposits up to Rs 1 crore, with effect from 24 August 2020:
|Tenure in months||Yearly interest per annum|
Higher interest rates
- 0.25% additional interest rate for senior citizens for Samruddhi Fixed Deposits.
- 0.35% additional interest rate for all Mahindra group company employees & their relatives for Samruddhi Fixed Deposits.
- The above rates are applicable to both physical and online applications.
The MMFSL Fixed Deposit has a CRISIL rating of 'FAAA', which indicates a high level of safety.
The article is purely informational and is not a solicitation to buy, sell in securities mentioned in the article. Greynium Information Technologies Pvt Ltd, its subsidiaries, associates and the author do not accept culpability for losses and/or damages arising based on information in this article.