How to read a bond table

This is the way bond ratings are generally displayed in newspapers and specialized publications. Online, the information is similar but may be displayed differently.


Columns 1: Issuer - This is the company, province (or state), or country that is issuing the bond.

Column 2: Coupon - Fixed interest rate that the issuer pays to the lender.

Column 3: Maturity date - This is the date on which the borrower will pay the investors their principal back. Typically only the last two digits of the year are quoted, 25 means 2025, 09 is 2009, etc.

Column 4: Bid price - This is the price someone is willing to pay for the bond. It's quoted in relation to 100, no matter what the par value is. Think of the bid price as a percentage: a bond with a bid of 93 means it's trading at 93% of its par value.

Column 5: Yield - The yield indicates annual return until the bond matures. Usually, this is the yield to maturity, not current yield. If the bond is callable, it will have a "c--" where the "--" is the year the bond can be called. For example "c10" means the bond can be called as early as 2010.

Tools and tips

How bonds work

When you buy a bond, you're lending money to a government or company.

Read tip - How bonds work

Characteristics of bonds

Learn about face value, coupons and default risk.

Read tip - Characteristics of bonds

Understanding bond yields

When a bond's price goes up, its yield goes down.

Read tip - Understanding bond yields

Types of bonds

Discover the 3 main categories of bonds.

Read tip - Types of bonds