Definition: Brady bonds
Balance of Payments, IMF
Brady bonds, named after U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, arose from the Brady Plan. This plan was a voluntary market-based approach, developed in the late 1980s, to reduce debt and debt service owed to commercial banks by a number of emerging market countries. Brady bonds were issued by the debtor country in exchange for commercial bank loans (and in some cases unpaid interest). In essence they provided a mechanism by which debtor countries could repackage existing debt. They are dollar denominated, "issued" in the international markets. The principal amount is usually (but not always) collateralized by specially issued U.S. Treasury 30-year zero-coupon bonds purchased by the debtor country using a combination of IMF,World Bank, and the country’s own foreign currency reserves. Interest payments on Brady bonds, in some cases, are guaranteed by securities of at least double-A-rated credit quality held with the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Brady bonds are more tradable than the original bank loans but come in different forms. The main types are as follows.
• Par bonds: Bonds issued to the same value as the original loan, but the coupon on the bonds is below market rate. Principal and interest payments are usually guaranteed.
• Discount bonds: Bonds issued at a discount to the original value of the loan, but the coupon is at market rate. Principal and interest payments are usually guaranteed.
• Debt-conversion bonds: Bonds issued to the same value as the original loan but on condition that "new" money is provided in the form of new-money bonds.
• Front-loaded interest reduction bonds: Bonds issued with low-rate fixed coupons that step up after the first few years.
There are also other, less common types.
International Monetary Fund (IMF), "External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users; Appendix I. Specific Financial Instruments and Transactions: Classifications", Washington D.C., 2003