Whenever a company wants to raise money from the public it issues a debt paper for a specified tenure where it pays a fixed interest on the investment. This paper is known as a debenture. Some of the debentures are termed as convertible debentures since they can be converted into equity share on maturity. A Non – Convertible debenture or NCD do not have the option of conversion into shares and on maturity the principal amount along with accumulated interest is paid to the holder of the instrument.
There are two types of NCDs-secured and unsecured. A secured NCD is backed by the assets of the company and if it fails to pay the obligation, the investor holding the debenture can claim it through liquidation of these assets. Contrary to this there is no backing in unsecured NCDs if company defaults. However, any company seeking to raise money through NCD has to get its issue rated by agencies such as CRISIL, ICRA, CARE and Fitch Ratings. A higher ratings (e.g. CRISIL AAA or AA-Stable) means the issuer has the ability to service its debt on time and carries lower default risk. A lower rating signifies a higher credit risk.