Definition: Convertible bond
External debt - IMF
A convertible bond is a fixed-rate bond that may, at the option of the investor, be converted into the equity of the borrower or its parent. The price at which the bond is convertible into equity is set at the time of issue and typically will be at a premium to the market value of the equity at the time of issue. The conversion option on the bond may be exercised at one specified future date or within a range of dates—"the window period". The conversion right cannot be separated from the debt. The instrument allows the investor to participate in the appreciation of the underlying asset of the company while limiting risk. A convertible bond will generally pay a coupon rate higher than the dividend rate of the underlying equity at the time of issue but lower than the rate of a comparable bond without a conversion option. For the investor, the value of the convertible bond lies in the excess return of the bond yield over the dividend yield of the underlying shares.
International Monetary Fund (IMF), "External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users; Appendix I. Specific Financial Instruments and Transactions: Classifications", Washington D.C., 2003