Fixed Rate RSA Retail Savings Bonds
|Fixed Rate RSA Retail Savings Bond Term||Rate % Jun-20||Month Change %|
May held further volatile reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rand strengthened by more than 5%, with USDZAR closing at 17.57. Short term Government Bond yields moved lower following a further SARB 50bps repo cut to 3.75%. Medium and longer term yields fell similarly making the curve flatten somewhat.
Shorter term benchmark Government Bond yields decreased by 0.31%, while the 5-year rate fell by 0.52%.
Given these Government Bond yield changes and general market conditions, the 2-year RSA Retail Savings Bond rate has remained static, the 3-year rate has decreased by 0.75% while the 5-year rate has decreased by 1.50% for the month of June 2020.
RSB rates remain in line with Bank rates.
Rate Commentary for May 2020
Last updated 1 June 2020
COVID-19, another 50bp repo rate cut and looking beyond lock-down easing continues to cause major moves in the local fixed income market.
Retail Bonds still offer substantial value over Government Bond yields, however, spreads are materially lower
The monthly change in underlying Government Bond yields is a good proxy, for any RSB rate changes, however the spread added to Government Bond yields to arrive at RSB rates can adjust to retail market conditions. RSB rates remain competitive compared to the Banks.
As depicted in the 5-year Retail Savings Bond Rate versus 5-year Government Bond Rate Chart, the 0.5% decrease in the 5-year rate with a 1.5% change in the RSB rate means the spread over Government bonds moved materially lower and toward usual spreads for June 2020.
Similarly, the 3-year RSB rate spread over Government Bonds is lower, while the 2-year RSB offers an all time high spread over Government bonds for the term.
Investment rates for new bonds are set by the National Treasury at the start of each month, and are primarily determined based on the levels at which Government Bonds are trading in the capital markets. By keeping an eye how these bond levels have changed over the month, it is possible to get a good idea what changes, if any can be expected in RSB levels. This information is useful in determining whether to buy or re-start now, or hold off in the hope of better levels next month.
For those interested in more detail in the moves of the RSB bonds relative to Government bonds, more detail is below
How do the RSA Retail Bonds rates compare to Bank Deposit rates?
Last updated 1 April 2020
Retail Banks are paying less competitive rates compared to RSBs for all terms from 2-years onward.
Given that the RSBs are:
a better credit
can be re-started should rates go higher, and
for the over 60’s can be redeemed reasonably cheaply,
means that they certainly offer great value relative to bank term deposits.
Since the SARB repo rate cut in March 2020, the short end of the Government Bond yield curve has dropped materially . As a result the current RSB curve shows better relative value in the longer end, with some good value shown by banks for the very short terms.
For those able to access these top rates (typically you need to be 60+ and have R100,000 to invest), bank deposits are still worth considering as part of a savings portfolio.
The significant value associated with the re-start option however, means that we continue to favour a larger holding of RSB relative to term bank deposits.
|Bank||Last rate refresh date|
|ABSA||21 Mar 2020|
|FNB||23 Mar 2020|
|Nedbank||31 Mar 2020|
|Standard Bank||23 Mar 2020|
|RSA Retail Bonds||1 Apr 2020|
At this stage, we only compare the “Big 4 SA Banks” retail rates given their credit quality is closest to RSA Retail Savings Bonds. Over time we may look to add the other banks. Refer to Insight
The latest published rates are used, where we find each bank’s top product offering by investment term for an investment of R100,000 by a 60+ year old investor. This view of banks’ top rates provides a good overall guide to SA bank rates, their differences and trends.
It is interesting that for competitive reasons the Banks always pay very much the same rates in the wholesale markets. In the retail market however, the rates can be materially different – so keep an eye on what is available and negotiate your rate!
South African Government Bonds
Fixed Rate RSA Retail Savings Bond rates are primarily set off and affected by the yields of Fixed Rate South African Government Bonds traded on capital markets. General market conditions also affect the final Retail Savings Bond rate offered.
As at 31 May 2020, Government Bond Rates were as follows:
|Bond Name||Term to Maturity (Years)||Yield %|
Interpolating the rates as at 31 May 2020, we obtain 2, 3 and 5-year Government Bond Rates
|Interpolated Term (Years)||Interpolated Yield %|