12 month T-Bills yields drop to 3.58% – Still a good buy for CPF-OA buyers? (20 April 2023 Auction Results)



In my weekend article I shared that I expected a yield of 3.60% – 3.70% for the 12 month T-Bills auction.

Well results are out.

The final cut-off yield came in slightly below that range at 3.58%.


Application amounts for T-BIlls did not increase dramatically

Total application amount was $12.7 billion.

You can see how this compares to the application amounts of the other 6-month T-Bills.

Pretty much in line I would say – neither a big increase nor a big decrease.

So it’s hard to say that this auction result was a freak result due to high demand, it just looks to be fair market pricing for the 12 month T-Bills


Just a note that the 12 months T-Bills trade at 3.71% on the open market yesterday right before the auction.

So this auction result is slightly lower than market yields.

As always, I encourage T-Bills investors to place a competitive bid to protect yourselves from such scenarios (cut-off yield coming in below the yield that you are prepared to buy).

12 month T-Bills at 3.58% – Still a good buy for CPF-OA buyers?

Investors using cash can get up to 3.90% on a 12 month Fixed Deposit these days (RHB Bank), so the T-Bills at 3.58% wouldn’t be that attractive.

The main attraction for these T-Bills will be for CPF-OA buyers.

I’ve run the numbers below assuming that:

  1. $100,000 in CPF-OA is invested
  2. One buys 6 month T-Bills at 3.75% (latest auction price) and rolls over at 3.60%

Key takeaway is that it is still worth it to buy T-Bills with CPF-OA (6 month or 12 month).

The 12 month T-Bill buyer (3.58%) would make $871.7 more than had he just placed in the money in CPF-OA.

This is a 29.9% increase in interest earned.

But between 6 and 12 month T-Bills, the results are very close.

6 month T-Bills come out on top here, but the assumption is that (a) you can roll them over at 3.60% in 6 months time, and (b) you can roll them over in the same month (avoid losing another month of CPF-OA interest).

And all that work and uncertainty for an extra $97 in interest doesn’t seem all that worth it.

So yeah… despite the yields coming in slightly lower than expected, I would still say this is a pretty acceptable result for CPF-OA buyers.


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  1. How does an individual buy TBills in the open market using cpf-oa. Would it make sense to buy from the open market since today yield from open market is 3.71%?

    • You need to get your agent bank (DBS/UOB/OCBC) to handle it for you. But the liquidity is very poor, so not easy to execute the buy order unless you have some kind of relationship with them (eg. private banking).

      For most retail investors just buying from Auction would save you a whole bunch of hassle.


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