A Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) is a government security denominated in grams of gold. It is issued by the Government of India and allows investors to invest in gold without physically owning it.
SGBs are available in multiples of one gram of gold, and the minimum investment amount is one gram. The price of the bond is based on the average closing price of gold of 999 purity of the previous three business days as published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd. The bonds have a maturity period of eight years, with an exit option from the fifth year onwards.
One of the benefits of investing in SGBs is that they offer an additional interest rate of 2.5% per annum over and above the capital gains that an investor can earn if the price of gold increases. Additionally, SGBs are exempt from capital gains tax if held till maturity.
Eligibility: All resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities, and Charitable Institutions are eligible to invest in SGBs.
Payment: The payment for SGBs can be made through cash, demand draft, cheque or electronic banking.
Lock-in Period: The lock-in period for SGBs is 5 years, after which investors can choose to sell the bonds on the stock exchange or redeem them directly with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Interest and Redemption: Interest is paid out on the nominal value of the bond at a rate of 2.50% per annum, and is payable semi-annually. The maturity amount (nominal value plus interest) is paid out to the investor at the end of the 8-year term.
Trading on Stock Exchanges: SGBs can be traded on the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE), providing liquidity to investors who want to sell their bonds before maturity.
Nomination: Investors can nominate one or more persons in case of their death or in case they are incapacitated.
Taxation: SGBs are taxed as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and the gains arising from the transfer of the bond are taxed as capital gains. However, if the bond is held till maturity, the investor is exempt from capital gains tax.
Issue Calendar: The government issues SGBs on a periodic basis, and the dates for each issue are announced in advance. The bonds are usually issued in multiple tranches throughout the year.
Denomination: The minimum investment in SGBs is one gram of gold, and the maximum investment is 4 kg for individuals, 4 kg for HUFs, and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities in a fiscal year.
KYC Documentation: Investors are required to complete KYC (Know Your Customer) documentation to invest in SGBs. This includes submitting a PAN card and Aadhaar card, as well as other identity and address proofs.
Eligibility for Sale: SGBs are eligible for sale through the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) after a lock-in period of 5 years. They can also be sold to other investors in the secondary market at prevailing market prices.
Redemption: The redemption price for SGBs is based on the prevailing market price of gold at the time of redemption. The redemption proceeds are credited to the investor’s bank account directly.
Early Redemption: SGBs can be redeemed prematurely after the 5th year from the date of issue. However, a penalty may be charged for premature redemption, which is usually set at 1% of the redemption amount.
Liquidity: SGBs are traded on the stock exchanges and can be bought and sold like any other security. This provides investors with liquidity and flexibility in terms of selling their investments at any time.
SGBs can be purchased through designated banks, post offices, and stock exchanges. They can also be held in demat form.
Overall, Sovereign Gold Bonds provide an attractive investment option for individuals who want to invest in gold without physically owning it. They offer additional interest rates and are exempt from capital gains tax if held till maturity, making them a popular investment option among investors.
What are The Benefits of Investing in Sovereign Gold Bonds?
Safety: SGBs are issued by the Government of India and are considered to be a safe investment option as they carry no credit risk.
Returns: SGBs offer an interest rate of 2.5% per annum, which is paid semi-annually in arrears. In addition, investors can benefit from any capital gains on the value of gold.
Tax Benefits: The interest earned on SGBs is taxable, but there is no capital gains tax if held until maturity. Moreover, long-term capital gains arising from the transfer or sale of SGBs are tax-exempt after three years.
Convenience: SGBs can be bought and sold on stock exchanges, making them more convenient than physical gold. They can also be held in demat or paper form.
Storage: Physical gold requires secure storage facilities, while SGBs are held electronically and do not require physical storage.
Liquidity: Physical gold can be sold or exchanged in the open market, but its liquidity can be restricted during market hours. SGBs can be bought and sold on stock exchanges and are more liquid.
Cost: Physical gold investment involves making charges, GST, and storage fees, which can add up to significant costs. SGBs do not involve any making charges or storage fees.
Price: Physical gold prices may vary depending on the purity and design of the gold. SGB prices are linked to the market price of gold and are therefore more standardized.
Hedge Against Inflation: Gold has historically been a hedge against inflation, and investing in SGBs can help protect your portfolio against inflationary pressures.
Easy Exit Options: SGBs can be easily sold in the secondary market or redeemed prematurely after the fifth year from the date of issue.
Capital Gains Indexation: If an investor sells SGBs before maturity, they are subject to capital gains tax. However, the investor can claim indexation benefits to adjust the purchase price for inflation.
Quantity: There is no minimum investment limit for SGBs, while physical gold investment may require a minimum quantity of gold.
Purity: Physical gold investment may require purity testing, while SGBs are issued by the government and carry a 999 fineness certification.
Premiums: Physical gold investment may involve paying a premium over the market price of gold, whereas SGBs are priced at the prevailing market rate.
Delivery: Physical gold requires physical delivery, which can be a time-consuming process, while SGBs can be held in electronic form in a Demat account.
Overall, investing in SGBs can be a convenient and safe way to invest in gold, and can offer a range of benefits over physical gold investment. However, investors should carefully consider their investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon before investing in SGBs.