Debt, MLD and Commercial Papers

Debt, MLD, and Commercial Papers

Debt, Money Market Liquid (MLD), and Commercial Papers lie at the heart of the modern financial landscape. Each of these financial instruments plays a crucial role in shaping the global economy, facilitating capital flows and influencing investment decisions.

Debt, in its forms, serves as the lifeblood of corporate finance, governments, and individuals alike. It allows entities to fund their operations, projects, and aspirations, ultimately contributing to economic growth.

Meanwhile, Money Market Liquid (MLD) is the often-overlooked but indispensable marketplace where short-term borrowing and lending transactions occur. It’s the engine that keeps the financial system running smoothly by ensuring liquidity.

Commercial Papers, a subset of the MLD, are a fascinating aspect of this intricate ecosystem. These short-term promissory notes are issued by corporations to raise capital for a range of purposes, from meeting immediate financial obligations to financing expansion plans.

Debt instruments in India

Here are the types of debt instruments in India -: 

Government Securities-:

Government Securities are debt instruments issued by the Indian government to raise funds. They include Treasury Bills (T-Bills) and Government Bonds. T-Bills are short-term instruments with maturities ranging from a few days to one year, while Government Bonds are long-term, with maturities often exceeding ten years. They are considered one of the safest investments as they are backed by the government’s creditworthiness. The interest on G-Secs is paid semi-annually, and they are actively traded in the bond market.

Corporate Bonds-:

Corporate bonds are debt securities issued by companies to raise capital. These bonds typically have fixed interest rates and specified maturity dates. Investors receive periodic interest payments, and they get the principal amount back upon maturity. Corporate bonds can be secured (backed by assets) or unsecured (based on the company’s creditworthiness). The interest rates can vary based on factors like the issuer’s credit rating and prevailing market conditions.


Debentures are similar to corporate bonds but represent long-term debt obligations without any specific collateral backing them. They are issued by corporations to raise funds, and investors receive periodic interest payments. Debentures can be either convertible (allowing the holder to convert them into equity shares) or non-convertible (remaining as debt instruments).

Fixed Deposits-:

Fixed deposits are savings instruments offered by banks and financial institutions. You deposit a lump sum for a fixed period at a predetermined interest rate. The interest rate is generally higher than regular savings accounts, and the amount you receive at maturity is the principal plus the interest earned. Fixed deposits are considered safe investments and provide a guaranteed return.

Non-Convertible Debentures-:

NCDs are a type of corporate bond that cannot be converted into equity shares. They are typically unsecured and issued by corporations to raise funds. NCDs offer fixed interest rates and have specific maturity dates, making them attractive for investors seeking regular income.

Commercial Papers-:

Commercial paper is a short-term, unsecured promissory note issued by corporations to raise short-term funds. CP has maturities typically ranging from a few days to a few months. It provides an efficient way for companies to meet their short-term financing needs.

Certificate of Deposit-:

Certificate of Deposit is a time deposit offered by banks for a fixed period at a predetermined interest rate. They are similar to fixed deposits but are typically offered in larger denominations. CDs provide a fixed return and are insured up to a certain limit by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).

Public Provident Fund-:

PPF is a government-backed long-term savings scheme that provides fixed returns. It has a lock-in period of 15 years and offers tax benefits. The interest rate on PPF is typically higher than regular savings accounts and is set by the government.

National Savings Certificates-:

NSCs are government savings instruments with fixed interest rates. They have varying maturity periods and offer guaranteed returns. NSCs are relatively low-risk investments and are backed by the government.

Fixed Maturity Plans-:

Fixed Maturity Plans are close-ended debt mutual funds with fixed maturity periods. They invest in debt instruments and aim to provide returns based on the prevailing interest rates and the portfolio’s performance. FMPs are known for their tax efficiency.

The Indian Money Market

The Indian money market is a critical component of the country’s financial system, playing a pivotal role in the allocation and distribution of short-term funds. It encompasses a vast network of financial institutions, including commercial banks, cooperative banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which serves as the regulatory authority overseeing its operations.

Key players in the Indian money market include the call money market, commercial paper market, certificate of deposit market, treasury bills, and the repo (repurchase agreement) market. Call money market deals in short-term interbank loans, allowing banks to balance their daily cash requirements. Commercial paper and certificate of deposit markets are vital sources of short-term financing for corporations, while treasury bills are issued by the government to manage its short-term borrowing requirements. The repo market plays a pivotal role in shaping liquidity dynamics, where banks and financial institutions buy and sell government securities, adjusting their cash positions.

The Indian money market serves various functions, such as price discovery, liquidity management, and risk mitigation. It enables the efficient allocation of funds and provides a platform for banks to meet their short-term funding needs.

What are commercial papers ?

Commercial papers are short-term debt instruments that play a crucial role in the world of finance and corporate fundraising. These financial instruments are typically issued by corporations, financial institutions, and occasionally even governments to meet their short-term financing needs. Commercial papers are a means of raising capital quickly and efficiently, usually for a period ranging from a few days to a maximum of 270 days, making them a vital tool for entities in need of immediate liquidity.


Relationship between Debt, Money Markets and Commercial Papers

The relationship between debt, the money market, and commercial papers is a complex and interconnected one, crucial to understanding the dynamics of the financial system. These components work in tandem, impacting each other in various ways.

Here’s how the relationship works:

Debt Issuance-: When a corporation needs short-term financing, it issues commercial papers to raise funds. These papers represent a promise to repay the borrowed amount with interest at a specified future date. Debt issuance generates funds for the issuer while creating debt securities in the market.

Money Market Participation-: Investors in the money market, seeking a secure place to invest their short-term excess funds, often turn to commercial papers. They purchase these papers, providing the issuer with the necessary funds. These investors range from large financial institutions to individual investors, all looking for low-risk, liquid investments.

Liquidity and Flexibility-: The money market offers a highly liquid secondary market for commercial papers. Investors can easily buy or sell these instruments, ensuring they can access their funds when needed. This liquidity supports the overall stability and efficiency of the financial system.

Interest Rates and Yields-: The yields on commercial papers are influenced by prevailing interest rates in the money market. As interest rates change, so do the yields on commercial papers. This, in turn, affects the cost of borrowing for issuers and the returns for investors.

Economic Indicators-: The demand and pricing of commercial papers in the money market can serve as economic indicators. Strong demand for commercial papers may indicate investor confidence and economic stability, while weak demand could signal economic uncertainty.

The relationship between debt, the money market, and commercial papers is interdependent. Debt issuers utilize commercial papers to raise short-term funds, while investors in the money market rely on these instruments for safe and liquid investments. The money market acts as the bridge between the two, ensuring efficient allocation of capital, influencing interest rates, and reflecting broader economic conditions. This interplay is vital for the functioning of financial markets and the broader economy.


Cost Efficiency-: Listing debt, MLD, or commercial papers can often provide cost advantages compared to traditional bank loans. 

Flexibility in Fundraising-: These listing options offer flexibility in terms of the amount of funds raised. 

Improved Credit Profile-: By successfully listing debt or other instruments, companies can enhance their credit profile and creditworthiness. This can lead to improved borrowing terms, better access to future funding, and increased confidence among lenders and investors.

Investor Diversification-: Listing debt, MLD, or commercial papers allows businesses to diversify their investor base. 

Enhanced Transparency and Governance-: Companies that list their instruments on recognized exchanges are subject to regulatory compliance and reporting requirements. This promotes transparency, accountability, and good corporate governance practices, which can instill confidence in investors and stakeholders.

Brand Building and Market Recognition-: Listing on reputable exchanges can provide companies with increased visibility, market recognition, and brand value. 

Access to Secondary Market Trading: Listing debt, MLD, or commercial papers enables companies to offer liquidity to investors through secondary market trading.

Issuance and Trading Mechanisms

Debt Instruments:

  1. Types: Debt instruments encompass a variety, including bonds, debentures, and notes, representing loans made by investors to the issuer.

  2. Issuing Entities: Governments, financial institutions, and corporations issue debt to raise capital for various purposes, such as infrastructure projects or working capital.

  3. Issuance Process: Issuers typically conduct debt issuances through public offerings or private placements. Investors purchase these instruments, receiving periodic interest payments and the return of principal at maturity.

  1. Market Platforms: Debt instruments are traded on organized exchanges or over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Government bonds often trade on exchanges, while corporate bonds may trade OTC.

  2. Secondary Market: Investors can buy or sell existing debt securities in the secondary market. Prices are influenced by interest rates, credit ratings, and market demand.

Money Market Instruments with Longer Duration (MLD):

  1. Nature: MLDs are a category of money market instruments with slightly longer maturities than traditional money market instruments like Treasury Bills.

  2. Issuing Entities: Financial institutions and corporations use MLDs to meet funding needs with a horizon beyond typical money market instruments.

  3. Issuance Process: Similar to debt instruments, MLDs are issued through public offerings or private placements, with investors earning interest until maturity.

  1. Market Platforms: MLDs may be traded on organized exchanges or OTC markets, depending on the specific instrument and its issuer.

  2. Secondary Market: Investors can trade MLDs in the secondary market, with prices influenced by factors like interest rates, credit quality, and prevailing market conditions.

Commercial Papers (CPs):

  1. Nature: CPs are short-term, unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations to raise funds for short-term financing needs.

  2. Issuing Entities: Corporations with strong credit ratings often issue CPs, attracting investors seeking short-term, low-risk investments.

  3. Issuance Process: CPs are typically issued through private placements, with maturities ranging from a few days to a year.

  1. Market Platforms: CPs are traded in the money market, with transactions occurring in the OTC market or through electronic trading platforms.

  2. Secondary Market: Investors can trade CPs in the secondary market before their maturity, providing liquidity to the instrument.


In the interconnected world of finance, these instruments work together, ensuring capital flows efficiently, interest rates respond to market dynamics, and the broader economy thrives. Whether you’re an investor or simply curious about the financial realm, understanding the symbiotic relationship between debt, money markets, and commercial papers is essential to comprehend the complex mechanisms that underpin our financial landscape.

G Akshay Associates