Fixed Rate RSA Retail Savings Bonds

Last updated 1 March 2019
Current Rates

Fixed Rate RSA Retail Savings Bond TermRate % (Mar-19)
2 years7.75
3 years8.00
5 years8.50

February 2019 saw yet another volatile, but materially weaker Rand; although only slightly higher Government bond yields.  During the month all term yields increased by between 0.12% and 0.08%, with shorter term rates the bigger movers higher.

Given these Government Bond yield changes and general market conditions, the 2-year RSA Retail Savings Bond rates have reset higher by 0.50%, while the 3-year fixed rate remained static and the 5-year dropped by 0.25%  for the month of March 2019.

RSB rates remain in line with Bank rates.

Historic Rates

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Rate Commentary for February 2019

Last updated 1 March 2019
February 2019 saw the Rand lose over 6% to the USD and only slightly higher Government Bond yields across the curve.

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 surprising drop in the 5-year rate means the spread over Government bonds is now at much lower levels than usual for March 2019.

Contrast this to the 2-year bond where the spread over Government Bonds is at multi-year highs.

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

5-year Retail Savings Bond Rate versus 5-year Government Bond Rate

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RSA RSB Rates are changed in minimum steps of 0.25%
How do the RSA Retail Bonds rates compare to Bank Deposit rates?
Last updated 1 March 2019

Retail Banks are paying competitive rates compared to RSBs for the same term. 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.

Recently however, the large banks are paying higher nominal rates that RSBs, with  tight competition, specifically in the 5-year term.

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.

Top Market Retail Rates March 2019

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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.
BankLast rate refresh date
ABSA1 Mar 2019
FNB25 Jan 2019
Nedbank26 Feb 2019
Standard Bank28 Nov 2018
RSA Retail Bonds1 Mar 2019

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 28 February 2019, Government Bond Rates were as follows:

Bond NameTerm to Maturity (Years)Yield %
R2070.886.51
R2082.097.03
R20234.07.795
R1867.828.685

Interpolating the rates as at 28 February 2019, we obtain 2, 3 and 5-year Government Bond Rates

Interpolated Term (Years)Interpolated Yield %
26.99
37.39
58.03

SA Government Bond yields for the last 12 months.

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SA Government Bond yields revert to their 12-month averages amidst a weaker Rand

2-Year: SA Government Bond vs RSB yields

3-Year: SA Government Bond vs RSB yields

5-Year: SA Government Bond vs RSB yields

BondClub Market Data

The BondClub Market Data section provides a handy general summary of rates in the SA Retail Savings Market as well as some commentary about it.

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