6-month T-Bills Auction on 25 April – Will interest rates break 4.0% or drop? Buy T-Bills vs Fixed Deposit, Singapore Savings Bonds or Money Market Funds?



So the next 6-month T-Bills auction is on 25 April.

After closing as high as 4.07% in late 2023.

T-Bills yields then dropped as low as 3.54%.

In the most recent auction however, T-Bills closed at 3.75% yield.

Bank fixed deposit rates have been steadily declining of late – so at 3.75%, 6-month T-Bills offer a much higher yield than bank Fixed Deposits.

Just this week though, Jerome Powell effectively came out and said that we may see less rate cuts in 2024 due to strong US inflation – and we may see this drive T-Bills yields up.

So I wanted to discuss a couple of questions:

  1. What is the estimated yield on the next 6-month T-Bills auction?
  2. Are T-Bills a better buy than money market funds or fixed deposits?
  3. Where to park cash today?


Next T-Bills auction is on 25 April (Thurs) – BS24108V 6-Month T-bill

First off – next 6 months T-Bills auction is on 25 April (Thurs).

This means that:

  • For cash or SRS applications, the deadline is 9pm on 24 April (Wed)
  • For CPF-OA applications, the deadline is 9pm on 23 April (Tues)

Deadline for CPF-OA applications is same as cash applications – for DBS Bank only

I’ve noticed recently that with DBS, the deadline for CPF-OA applications (via ibanking) is the same as cash applications, so there is no need to submit 1 day earlier if you’re applying with CPF.

This looks to be only for DBS though, and for UOB/OCBC you’ll still want to put it in 2 days before.

What is the estimated yield on the next 6-month T-Bills auction? – BS24108V 6-Month T-bill

I’ll split the analysis up into 2 parts:

  • Fundamentals perspective (economic growth, inflation, global interest rates etc)
  • Technical perspective (supply-demand)

(1) Fundamentals perspective for T-Bills:

T-Bills trade at 3.75% on the open market

6-month T-Bills are trading at 3.75% on the open market.

But… T-Bill trading liquidity is incredibly thin

But we’ve seen the past few auctions that trading liquidity on the T-Bills is so thin (just look at trading liquidity in the chart above) – that actually the market pricing is not that indicative.

You’ll find that the market pricing actually takes its cue from the latest T-Bills auction.

The past few auctions where the T-Bills auction yield diverged materially from market price (whether up or down).

It was actually market price that adjusted to the latest T-Bills auction yield, rather than the other way around.

So I would caution against placing too much reliance on market pricing on T-Bills – there just isn’t sufficient trading liquidity for true price discovery.

12-week MAS Bills have dropped to 3.83% (vs 3.94% at the previous auction)

The institutional only 12-week MAS Bills have dropped quite significantly to 3.8.% (was 3.94% at the previous auction).

Why exactly this is the case is not very clear.

I would have thought that due to lower rate hikes from Powell, MAS Bills yields should actually have gone up instead.

Whatever the case – sharp moves in MAS Bills are a good indicator of the trend for T-Bills.

So as of now, MAS Bills are pointing towards lower yields.

If you are submitting a competitive bid I do suggest taking a quick look at the latest MAS Bills pricing before you apply.

If there is a sharp move up or down – that could suggest a similar trend for T-Bills (can access it here).

Powell’s Pivot to the Pivot – only 1 rate cut in 2024?

On Tuesday, Powell at a panel discussion gave the following remarks:

If price pressures persist, he said, the Fed can keep rates steady for “as long as needed.”

“The recent data have clearly not given us greater confidence and instead indicate that is likely to take longer than expected to achieve that confidence,”.

That’s a pretty big change of tone from Powell.

For much of this year he has stuck to the position that despite hot inflation data, the Feds still see themselves cutting interest rates in 2H 2024.

With this comment, he finally acknowledges the hot inflation, and its potential impact to delay interest rate cuts.

In some ways, it’s basically walking back the “pivot” in late 2023.

Market only pricing in 1 interest rate cuts in 2024

You can see latest market pricing below.

Only 1 interest rate priced in for 2024 now, to start in Sep 2024.

With a 1.0% chance of a rate hike.

Considering in Jan the market was pricing in 7 rate cuts, this is a whopping shift in market expectations.

As shared with FH Premium readers, I would expect this huge shift to affect stocks / REITs at some point.

We’re already seeing this affect REIT prices, leading to pretty attractive prices across the board which I may buy at (see my full REIT / Stock watchlist on FH Premium).

Whatever the case, less rate cuts are priced into the market.

This should technically be bullish for the 6-month T-Bills, as less rate cuts *should* mean higher yields.

From a Technicals, supply-demand perspective for T-Bills

From a more micro perspective, what matters is the supply-demand dynamics.

T-Bills Supply is going up to $6.6 billion (vs $6.3 billion previous auction)

The good news is that the amount of T-Bills on auction is going up again.

$6.6 billion of T-Bills vs $6.3 billion of T-Bills the previous auction.

Amount of T-Bills is close to the highest it has been this cycle, and significantly higher than auction amounts in all of 2022/2023.

T-Bills supply seems to be a pretty decent predictor of yields so far, so this is good sign for yields.

Demand for T-Bills increased to $16.0 billion (vs $15.6 billion the previous auction)

The bad news – is that demand for T-Bills soared to record levels in the most recent auction.

$16.0 billion in applications, vs $15.6 billion the previous auction.

You can see how demand at $16.0 billion is the highest it has been this entire cycle the past 18 months.

There is a lot of money chasing after T-Bills today – and frankly it’s not hard to see why given bank fixed deposit rates keep dropping (UOB One account just dropped their interest rates to 4.0% in a pretty significant nerf).


Median Yield – Average Yield spread went up – more “lowballers”?

To illustrate what this is:

Imagine you have 100 bids.

The median yield, is if you arrange all the bids from small to high, and take the yield of the 50th bid.

While average yield, is adding up the yields of all 100 bids and dividing by 100.

So average yields are skewed by lowball bids, while median yields are not.

To put it simply – the bigger the spread between the median yield and average yield, the more “low-ballers”.

In the latest auction – spreads actually went down.

So the good news is that it seems investors are being quite aggressive (or rational) with their competitive bids.

You could argue this is because yields have stabilised of late which leads to more rational bidding, but whatever the case this is a good sign.

T-Bills yields down slightly to 3.75% (vs 3.80% the previous auction)

The fact that there was such a large increase in demand.

Caused T-Bills yields to drop to 3.75%.

This was despite the fact that supply went up, and bidding seems to be generally rational.

This week’s 12-month T-Bills issued at 3.58% yield

In my weekend article I projected a range of 3.3% – 3.6% for the 12-month T-Bills.

Final cut-off yields came in at 3.58% which is definitely on the high end of my range.

I suppose this is a good sign, as it shows yields are strong of late.

Estimated yield of 3.70% – 3.85% on the 6-month T-Bills auction? BS24108V 6-Month T-bill

Let’s put it all together.

6-month T-Bills yields 3.75% on the open market, but MAS bills are suggesting a downtrend in yields.

Meanwhile demand for T-Bills has soared to record highs for this entire cycle.

While the supply of T-Bills is going up this auction to $6.6 billion.

Yet bidding seems to be pretty rational so far, given the stabilisation in yields.

Market is now only pricing in 1 interest rate cut in 2024, which should be bullish for yields.

Given all of the above – I think there is a chance that T-Bills yields may go up this auction (vs 3.75% the last auction).

All things considered I would probably go with an estimated yield of 3.70% – 3.85% on the next T-Bills auction.

Do note that this is just an estimate, and actual yields can vary if demand is very high, or bidding is funky.

Will I be applying for this round of T-Bills?

I’ll probably apply for this round of T-Bills as well.

I’ve had some cash come back from maturing T-Bills.

And given the drop in money market fund rates of late (more on this below), and the stabilisation of T-Bills yields, I’ll probably move some cash from money market funds to T-Bills.

Those using UOB One Account may need to top up another $50,000 in May to enjoy the full interest

Gentle reminder that with the changes to UOB One Account interest rate, you need to top up to $150,000 to enjoy the full 4.0% interest rate.

It’s frankly up to you if you still want to use UOB One Account after this.

I’ve calculated the effective interest rates below.

On the full $150,000 it’s 4.00%, for money you can withdraw any time.

Given that it’s still higher than T-Bills, I’ll probably still top it up to $50,000.

But do note the risk that UOB can further slash the interest rates any time, whereas with T-Bills you’re “locking in” yields for the next 6 months.

Should you submit a competitive or non-competitive bid for T-Bills?

I usually encourage investors to submit a competitive bid (just in case there is a freak result and yields drop a lot).

And submit as close to the deadline as you can, so you can take a look at where market pricing is at that time before deciding on your bid.

But I know some investors really don’t like competitive bidding.

In which case non-competitive bidding is probably fine as well.

But do note that with non-competitive, if there is a freak result and yields drop to 3.0%, you are still forced to buy.

Which is a better buy – T-Bills vs Money Market Funds, Singapore Savings Bonds or Fixed Deposit or Savings Accounts?


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Money Market Funds pay about 3.5% – 3.8% yields – been dropping of late

Money Market Funds have seen dropping yields of late.

Mari Invest is paying about 3.6% over the past 30 days for me.

The benefit with Money Market Funds like Mari Invest or Fullerton SGD Cash Fund is that you can get the money back any time with T+1 liquidity.

The rates are also competitive with T-Bills, although you will see that it fluctuates quite a bit from time to time – sometimes yields are higher, sometimes like today T-Bills yields are higher.

Personally I hold a mix of funds in T-Bills and Money Market Funds for liquidity, and it’s been working out well for me so far.

Full disclosure that with the recent drop in Money Market Funds yields, and the stabilisation of T-Bills yields around 3.75%, I’ve been moving more funds into T-Bills though.

Fixed Deposit rates keep going down – 3.25% with CIMB

The Best Fixed Deposit option I found is 3.25% (3.30% for preferred banking) with CIMB.

Minimum of $10,000 deposit.

So if you don’t want to buy T-Bills, but want something risk free (below SDIC limit), this is probably the next best thing.

Yields are much, much lower vs the latest T-Bills though, so I don’t think fixed deposit is that attractive any more.

Bank interest rates have been on a steady decline the past few months, and nothing seems to have changed.

Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed pays 3.8% – but it is NOT SDIC insured

I wrote a more detailed article on this in the Fixed Deposits post.

If you’re slightly more adventurous – you can use Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed (who then deposits the cash into an institutional fixed deposit deposit).

This allows you access to institutional fixed deposit rates which are significantly higher.

If you do this, these are the latest rates on offer – 3.75% for 3 months and 3.8% for 6 months:

To be absolutely clear though, Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed is NOT SDIC insured.

This means that unlike T-Bills (backed by Singapore government) or Fixed Deposit (SDIC insured up to the limits), Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed is NOT risk free.

This is made clear by Syfe on their website:

Singapore Savings Bonds are a pretty decent buy for those who missed the boat previously

Yields on the latest Singapore Savings bonds are:

  • 2.99% for the first 7 years
  • 3.06% for 10 years

That’s actually pretty attractive, given that you can lock in for 10 years.

For those who missed the boat with Singapore Savings Bonds a few months back at >3.0% yields, this is your chance.

Note that each person can apply for up to $200,000 Singapore Savings Bonds.

That said do note that next month’s SSBs are likely to be even better (as they track this month’s average 10 year yields which have shot up)

I think you could see next month’s Singapore Savings Bonds come in at:

  • 3.2% for the first 6 years (approx.)
  • 3.3 – 3.4% for 10 years.

What to ask yourself – split cash between T-Bills, Fixed Deposit and Savings Accounts?

A lot of you have asked what to consider when deciding how much cash to split between each of the following options:

  1. T-Bills
  2. Fixed Deposits
  3. Money Market Funds
  4. High Yield Savings Accounts

The way I see it, it’s broadly a 2 step process:

  1. How much liquid cash do you need?
  2. Rest goes into highest yield options – based on your comfort level on risk

Key question to ask – how much liquid cash do you need?

I would say the key question to ask is how much liquid cash you need, to meet your spending needs the next 6 months.

Think about how much you need to spend.

Then think about how much cash you are expecting to come in over the next 6 months.

The difference is the amount of liquid cash you would need.

So if all of your spending needs are going to be met by your salary, or if a big bonus is coming in – then you can actually run very little liquid cash.

Whereas if you’re going to buy a house, a new car, or a big renovation, you’ll need to plan ahead and have that amount of cash set aside in liquid cash.

Some guidelines on liquidity – better safe than sorry

As a general note I would say don’t be stingy with liquidity.

It’s one of those where it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So after you run the analysis above – you’ll want to buffer for unexpected scenarios too.

For example a big medical bill that you need to pay upfront, then claim from insurance after.

A big car repair bill.

A decline in stocks that leads you to want to buy some stocks / REITs.

A loss of job, meaning no income in the short term.

Things like that.

As a general note I would say you always want to have enough liquid cash on hand to cover 6 months worth of expenses, as a worst case scenario.

Liquid Cash should go into options accessible on short notice – savings accounts, fixed deposits, money market funds

Once you have the number above.

That amount of liquid cash, should go into options that you can get back with ideally a day or two’s notice.

That will include:

  1. High yield savings accounts (eg. UOB One, OCBC 360) – as a savings account you can withdraw any time
  2. Fixed Deposits – can break anytime by telling the bank, although you will lose accrued interest
  3. Money Market Funds – they are T+1 liquidity

Number (1) tends to have the highest interest rates, although with the recent change UOB One Account now only pays 4.0% on $150,000.

But I still think this should be the priority – and you shouldn’t move on to fixed deposits or money market funds until you’ve maxxed out this option / set aside sufficient liquidity.

Singapore Savings Bonds is an outlier, because technically the money only comes back at the start of the next month.

In a worst case scenario if you just missed the redemption window, you might need to wait a whole month to get the money back:

I would say some Singapore Savings Bonds is fine as you can get the money back reasonably quickly, but don’t overdo it and put 90% of your liquid cash into Singapore Savings Bonds.

Rest of the cash goes into highest yield options – based on your comfort level on risk

Once you have the above – the rest just goes into the highest yielding option.

As of today, that’s probably T-Bills, followed by Money Market Funds like MariInvest or Fullerton SGD Cash Fund.

But Money Market Funds are technically not risk free, so I know not everyone is comfortable putting their entire nest egg into something that is not zero risk.

In which case you can consider overweighting T-Bills.

Picking between T-Bills vs Money Market Funds vs Singapore Savings Bonds vs Fixed Deposit vs Savings Accounts?

I would say if you want the highest short term yield, T-Bills / Money Market Funds are probably your best bet today.

The benefit of T-Bills is that it’s risk free, and you lock in the rates for 6 months, but at the cost of liquidity.

The benefit of Money Market Funds is that you can get the money back anytime with T+1 liquidity, but it’s technically not risk free, and the rates fluctuate over time.

Where am I parking my cash for liquidity?

Personally, I’ve been parking my cash in a mix of the following for liquidity:


Approx Yield


Risk Free?


4% (from 1 May 2024)


SDIC insured up to $100,000

Singapore Savings Bonds

3%+ (based on prior yields)


Yes (backed by Singapore government)

MariBank Account



SDIC insured up to $100,000

Mari Invest (or Fullerton SGD Cash Fund)

3.5% – 4.0%

No maximum (not risk free)



Maribank pays 2.88% on up to $100,000, SDIC insured

The Maribank Savings Account pays 2.88% on up to $75,000, with no minimum amount, no hoops to jump through, and SDIC insured.

Pretty much a no brainer if you have spare cash and want to generate a higher yield without any lockup or any requirements to fulfil.

Promo Code for FH Readers (extra $10 Shopee Voucher)

Maribank very kindly reached out to offer an exclusive promo code for FH Readers

Sign up for a Mari Savings Account (using the promo code “MARI28FH”) and get a $10 Shopee voucher with no min spend. 

Full disclosure that I don’t get any benefit from you guys using this code, so the benefit is all yours. 😉

Promo ends 30 June 2024, Full T&Cs here


This article was written on 19 April 2024 and will not be updated going forward.

For my latest up to date views on markets, my personal REIT and Stock Watchlist, and my personal portfolio positioning, do subscribe for FH Premium.


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