T-Bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) Yield Skyrocketed to 4.07%

T-Bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H)

The auction for T-bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) has concluded, and the final cut-off yield jumped to 4.07%. Wow! After weeks of declining yield, all investors have been waiting for this rebound, and we finally got it.

Auction Result Summary

Let us take a look at this auction result:


Total Amount Allotted S$5.3 billion
Amount Allotted to Non-Competitive Applications S$1.8 billion
Total Amount Applied S$9.3 billion
% of Competitive Applications at Cut-off Allotted Approximately 99%
% of Non-Competitive Applications Allotted 100%
Bid-to-Cover Ratio 1.76

Yield and Price

Cut-off Yield 4.07% p.a.
Cut-off Price 97.971
Median Yield 3.62% p.a.
Median Price 98.195
Average Yield 3.51% p.a.
Average Price 98.25

Source: MAS


Yield Back Above 4%

We have all been waiting for this great news: the cut-off yield for this T-bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) jumped to 4.07%! We last saw this level back in January 2023. Since then, the yield has declined, picking up steam again towards mid of this year before gradually decreasing again in the past several weeks.

T-bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) historical t-bill yield
Source: Singapore T-bill interest rates

With the significant rebound in this auction, the T-bill yield is getting very attractive again. The current cut-off yield is significantly higher than other alternatives, such as fixed deposits and cash management accounts. The plus point is that T-bill has the lowest risk profile among those alternatives, too!


Lower Demand But Higher Non-Competitive Bids

The most apparent observation is the significantly lower demand in this T-bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) auction. The total amount applied in this auction was $9.3 billion, a significant drop from the previous auction amount of $11.2 billion. Additionally, the non-competitive bids rose to $1.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion from the last auction.

T-Bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) Demand Chart

This observation led us to believe the demand issue is one of the factors driving the higher yield in this auction. The T-bill interest rate market has been stable, and the short-term interest rate has not moved materially.

On the other hand, the longer-term interest rate has been climbing again recently, as seen from the last SSB offering, which has increased to above 3%.

The lower total demand and the higher non-competitive bids may indicate a drop in T-bill interest from institutional money. The 10-year Singapore government bond yield has been rising fast, close to 3.5%. If you are an institutional investor and can lock in 3.5% for ten years, why bother locking for 3.7% just for 6-months and expose yourself to refinancing risk in 6 months?

We will monitor the result for the upcoming auctions to see if the yield stays elevated. However, the next auction may attract more investors as the 4.07% yield is quite attractive. Let’s see if this is just a one-off rebound or if the yield can stay high longer.

Higher Non-Competitive Bids

We have been monitoring in the past several auctions that the non-competitive bid amounts have continued to decline. The not-so-good news is that this number rebounded strongly in this auction. But the good news is that it is still below the 40% threshold of $2.12 billion. All non-competitive bidders should get the full desired allocation.

Because we are getting closer to the threshold limit again, we will likely apply via competitive bids again in the next auction to ensure we get our full allocation.


How Competitive Are T-Bills?

This current T-bill 3 Oct 2023 (BS23119H) auction result is significant because the yield has exceeded many other alternatives. However, we must first monitor whether the higher yield can be sustained in the upcoming auctions. But for now, let’s compare t-bill with other popular fixed-income instruments.

T-Bills vs. Fixed Deposits

In our opinion, this one is a no-brainer; T-bills win hands-down. Fixed deposits in Singapore have seen relatively lower interest rates in recent months. The highest offering from RHB Bank is only at 3.6%, significantly lower than 4.07% from this T-bill auction. 3.6% is also lower than any results from the last several T-bill auctions.

Local banks such as UOB and OCBC have slashed their fixed deposit offerings to 2.7%. Yeah… we can just ignore them.

T-Bills vs. Cash Management Accounts

Cash management accounts may still offer higher yields than T-bills, but with a big catch: your money is not guaranteed and insured. Because cash management accounts invest your money into their respective underlying investment funds, you inherit the risk of those underlying funds. Generally, the risk is relatively low, but there is still a risk of losing some of your initial principal. Moreover, their interest rates are just target rates and will move according to the prevailing market interest rates. For example, if the interest rate reverses next month, the actual rate you earn from these accounts will also decrease. This is unlike T-bills, which lock your interest rate for the next six months.

However, on the plus side, the cash management accounts provide liquidity to investors by allowing them to withdraw at any time and get their money back within a few days.

It’s up to investors’ risk profile and objectives whether or not cash management accounts with the higher potential yield outweigh the risk involved.

As for us, if the T-bills yield stays elevated above 4%, the cash management accounts need to offer a much higher yield than what they currently target to be considered attractive, given the higher risk involved.

T-Bills vs. High-Yield Savings Accounts

High-yield savings accounts are attractive if you can meet their criteria, such as salary crediting, using credit cards, buying insurance, etc. Most investors probably cannot meet these requirements, and the effective interest rate will be much lower than advertised.

This option is viable only if you can meet their requirements and earn higher rates than the T-bills.

The interest rates of these accounts are also floating, meaning they follow the prevailing market rates. Therefore, should the rates decline soon, the rates offered by these accounts are likely to follow suit within a relatively short period.


Where Do We Park Our Short-Term Cash?

We have been using a combination of T-bill and high-yield savings accounts to park our short-term cash. With the latest jump in T-bill yield, there is even a stronger case to invest in T-bills and enjoy the higher rates while they last.

On the other hand, we believe we are nearing the end of this interest rate hike cycle and would prefer to lock in the higher rates for the long term. Therefore, we would like to maximize our SSB allocation before investing the extra cash in these short-term instruments.


Are you interested in applying for the next T-bill auction? If you plan to use CPF, use our CPF T-bill calculator to estimate how much more interest you can earn by investing in T-bills.

We have also written a guide about Singapore T-bills and how to buy T-bills.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice or recommendation of any sort.

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