1 a bond that is backed by the credit of the issuer but not by any specific collateral [syn: unsecured bond, debenture bond] [ant: secured bond]
2 a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt
- A certificate that acknowledges a debt
- An unsecured certificate of debt backed only by the credit of the borrower.
- : Written acknowledgement of a debt secured only by the general credit or promise to pay of the issuer. Debentures are the common type of bond issued by large, well established corporations with adequate credit ratings. The written agreement under which the debentures are sold, the indenture, is specific as to maturity date, interest rate, call features, and convertibility. Holders of debentures representing corporate indebtedness are creditors of the corporation, and entitled to payment before shareholders upon dissolution of the corporation.
A debenture is defined as a certificate of agreement of loans which is given under the company's stamp and carries an undertaking that the debenture holder will get a fixed return (fixed on the basis of interest rates) and the principal amount whenever the debenture matures.
In finance, a debenture is a long-term debt instrument used by governments and large companies to obtain funds. It is defined as "a debt secured only by the debtor’s earning power, not by a lien on any specific asset." It is similar to a bond except the securitization conditions are different. A debenture is usually unsecured in the sense that there are no liens or pledges on specific assets. It is, however, secured by all properties not otherwise pledged. In the case of bankruptcy debenture holders are considered general creditors.
The advantage of debentures to the issuer is they leave specific assets burden free, and thereby leave them open for subsequent financing. Debentures are generally freely transferrable by the debenture holder. Debenture holders have no voting rights and the interest given to them is a charge against profit.
Debenture holdersIn the United Kingdom debentures have frequently been used as a mechanism for raising funds to build or finance sports or leisure venues. Often these debentures pay little or no interest, but entitle the holder to privileges, usually tickets for the venue. For example, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club first issued debentures in 1920 in order to purchase the current premises in Wimbledon, London, and debenture issues take place every five years. The 2001-2005 debenture issue was priced at £2,000 each, with an additional premium of £18,000, and Value Added Tax of £3,150; holders of these debentures are entitled to a free seat in the Centre Court Stand for each day of the championships for five years, and have access to exclusive lounge and catering facilities. At the Royal Albert Hall debenture holders are known as members; they own rights to individual boxes, and are entitled to view almost all performances. In 2003 Box 70 was offered on the open market for £250,000 . Other stadia financed through the issue of debentures include Millennium Stadium, Wembley Stadium, Arsenal, Twickenham Stadium, Lord's Cricket Ground, and Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
NomenclatureIn practice the distinction between bond and debenture is not always maintained. Bonds are sometimes called debentures and vice-versa.
In some countries (notably the United Kingdom), the term debenture is also frequently used by the legal profession as shorthand for a security document which creates fixed and floating charges over all of the property of the chargor. This usage derives from the frequent inclusion of provisions for security interests in conventional debt instruments.
- Floating charge
- Security interest
- Bond (finance)
- Gold exchange-traded fund
- Convertible debenture
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debenture in Portuguese: Debênture
debenture in Russian: Дебентура
debenture in Finnish: debentuuri
debenture in Swedish: Förlagsbevis
debenture in Urdu: ڈبنچر
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