After our last article on T-bills, we received several queries on how to buy T-bills.
You can buy T-bills using cash, Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) or CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) funds.
Singapore Treasure Bill (T-Bill)
As a recap, Treasury bills (T-bills) are short-term Singapore Government Securities (SGS) issued at a discount to their face value.
Investors receive the full face value at maturity.
SGS T-bills are fully backed by the Singapore Government, and the Government issues 6-month and 1-year T-bills.
When to buy T-Bills?
To know when to subscribe for T-bills, you have to look at the issuance calendar.
Click here to access the 2023 issuance calendar.
Applications through ATMs and internet banking typically start usually after 6pm on the announcement date.
And typically close 1 to 2 business days before the auction.
How to buy T-Bills
You will need:
- a bank account with one of the three local banks (DBS/POSB, OCBC, and UOB)
- an individual CDP account with Direct Crediting Services activated
- the coupon and principal payments will be credited directly into your bank account
- joint CDP accounts are not allowed
How to apply?
Apply through ATMs or your bank’s internet banking portal.
As an example, let’s look at DBS’ process.
Find out more about how to apply through OCBC here, and UOB here.
You will need an SRS account with one of the three SRS operators (DBS/POSB, OCBC, and UOB).
Access your bank’s internet banking portal and apply accordingly.
For CPFIS-OA investments, you will need a CPF Investment Account with one of the three agent banks (DBS/POSB, OCBC, and UOB).
There is no need to open any CPF Investment Account if you wish to invest CPFIS-SA funds.
How to apply?
You can buy or sell T-bills through DBS, OCBC or UOB by visiting their branches.
Remember to bring your NRIC/ Passport.
Before you can use your CPFIS funds, you need to have a minimum sum of $20,000 in your Ordinary Account and $40,000 in your Special Account.
You can invest under CPFIS if you:
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DBS has provided a great summary as well:
How much to apply?
The minimum bid amount for T-bills is $1,000.
There are allotment limits for competitive and non-competitive bids at each auction.
Typically, for T-bills, the limit is about $1 million. But if you wish to apply for more, you can just check with your private banker.
Make sure you have sufficient funds in the account you use to apply, because the full bid amount will be deducted from your account at the point of application.
Note: For reopened bonds, 115% of the bid amount will be debited. Any difference from the price will be refunded into or debited from your bank account after the auction.
If your bid is unsuccessful or invalid, the money will be refunded into your bank account, 1 to 2 business days after the auction day.
Competitive vs Non-Competitive Bid
T-Bill Allotment Results
After applying for T-bills, you just need to check the results.
This usually happens about an hour after the auction, you can check the results on the issuance calendar.
T-bills are issued 3 business days after the results are announced.
If your bid is successful, the securities will be reflected as follows:
- For cash applications: check your CDP statement
- For SRS application: check your bank statement
- For CPFIS-OA application: check the CPFIS statement sent by your bank
- For CPFIS-SA application: check your CPF statement
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Hi, can you please tell me why my non-competitive bid for T Bills was unsuccessful? For the October 2022 auction, the full amount was debited from my bank account upon submission on 7 Oct. When the result is announced on 13 Oct, the full amount was returned to me. It’s not even accepted on pro-rata basis.
Suggest to check with your bank, they can investigate and give you the exact reason why.
The only reason I can think of and which I didn’t mention is – I went in using a joint CDP account with my wife. May be by ‘individual’ MAS means 1 person, and I took that to mean ‘non-business entity’! I will try again for November. Hopefully the interest is higher than October.
Hi Tio, ah yes, you need an individual CDP account (you can’t use joint CDP accounts). However, you can can pay for the application from a joint bank account.