Non-competitive tenders are a way of purchasing U.S. Treasury securities through non-competitive bids that do not state a particular price or yield for the security. Instead, investors rely on competitive bidders to set an average “market” price and offer to purchase a specific amount of Treasury securities at that price.
The types of securities that can be purchased through non-competitive tenders include:
While discussing non-competitive tenders, it is important to distinguish them from competitive tenders.
Governments typically offer two ways for investors to purchase securities – through competitive tenders and bidding at auctions and through non-competitive tenders.
Competitive bidding rewards the highest bidder with the security, whereas non-competitive bidding allows investors to purchase securities at a price that is decided by competitive bidding, which tends to be the fair market price of the security.
When interest rates increase to points that are higher than the market rates offered by commercial banks and savings accounts, the demand for U.S. Treasury securities increases and the number of non-competitive bids for securities also increase along with the number of competitive bids. It is because the higher return offered by such securities and bonds is attractive to investors.
Which Investors Invest in Non-Competitive Tenders?
The following infographic from the U.S. Department of the Treasury shows that the highest number of non-competitive bids are submitted by individual investors, followed by commercial banks, corporations, brokers, dealers, and pension funds. Although individuals play a large role in the number of bids submitted, the dollar volume of bids is equally high from corporations and commercial banks who tend to submit bids with large denominations.
Therefore, the range of investors submitting non-competitive tenders is diverse in size, as well as type. Larger bids play a major role in determining the dollar volume of bids, and institutional or corporate investors are more likely to make such bids.
One of the primary reasons that a large number of individual investors prefer to invest in non-competitive bids is the idea that the prices and bids are determined by the competitive side of the market, so investors are protected from the risk of paying higher-than-market prices. The minimum price of a non-competitive tender is $10,000, and the maximum is $500,000.
Advantages of Non-Competitive Tenders
1. Less complicated trading
One of the most prominent advantages of non-competitive tenders is that investors do not need to spend time calculating and strategizing for a price to bid, as the price is decided by the market.
2. Higher interest rates
The attractiveness of non-competitive tenders stems from the higher interest rates offered by the Treasury securities combined with the convenience of non-competitive bidding.
3. Lower brokerage and advisory fees
Individual investors can avoid paying traditional brokerage and advisory fees by submitting tenders directly to the federal Treasury Department through Treasury Direct. It reduces transactional costs related to trading and investing in securities by eliminating the need for a third-party broker.
4. More accessible
Competitive tenders are usually employed by large institutions and corporations that submit high-dollar volume bids. Investors that do not meet the criteria for competitive bidding are allowed to invest in securities through non-competitive bidding.
Investing in securities through non-competitive bids allows investors to participate in secondary markets for the Treasury securities as distributors, where they can sell the securities at a premium and make a profit.
The largest secondary money market in the U.S. is the market for Treasury bills, implying that there are ample opportunities for investors to participate in such markets.
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