A basis point is a standard metric to measure changes in interest rates, yields from financial securities or any other debt instruments. One bp or basis point is equivalent to 1/100th of one percent. 1 Bp means 0.01% change, 100 Bp means 1% change, and 10,000 Bps is equivalent to 100% change. Therefore, if the interest rate changes from 10% to 10.01%, it means that there has been a one basis point increase in interest rates.
Repo rate is the rate at which the Reserve Bank of India lends money to commercial banks. It is a key policy rate that directly, and often immediately, impacts bank loan and deposit interest rates.
Let’s see how the repo rate has changed in India in the last few years, and the variation in terms of basis points.
|Date||Repo Rate||Increase/Decrease in Basis Points from Previous Rate|
|Feb 8, 2023||6.50%||+25 basis points|
|Dec 7, 2022||6.25%||+35 basis points|
|Sep 30, 2022||5.90%||+50 basis points|
|Aug 8, 2022||5.40%||+50 basis points|
|June 8, 2022||4.90%||+50 basis points|
|May 4, 2022||4.40%||+40 basis points|
|May 22, 2020||4.00%||-40 basis points (from 4.40% in March, 2020)|
Basis points, also known as BPS, are a unit of measurement that are commonly used in finance. They are used to express the percentage change in interest rates, yields, or other financial metrics. Basis points are important in finance for several reasons:
Basis points are a more precise way of expressing changes in financial metrics. They allow for more accurate measurement of changes in interest rates or yields, which can have a significant impact on financial investments.
Basis points provide a standardised way of comparing financial metrics across different investments. This is important for investors who are looking to compare the relative performance of different investment options.
When borrowing money, the interest rate charged by lenders is often expressed in basis points. This allows borrowers to compare different loan options and determine which one is the most cost-effective.
In financial markets, basis points are used to measure the spread between different investments. This can help traders identify opportunities for profit by buying low and selling high.
Basis points can be used to measure the risk associated with different investments. By understanding the potential impact of changes in interest rates or yields, investors can make more informed decisions about their portfolio allocations.
Here is the formula to calculate basis points:
BP or basis point = 1/ (interest rate) * 100
It means that in order to calculate basis points, we must divide 1 by the prevailing interest rate and then multiply the result by 100.
Also, if you want to calculate basis points percentage, use this formula:
Percentage = Basis points/100
So, if the basis point is 10, percentage would be 10/100 = 0.10%
One crucial point to remember is that one basis point is equal to 0.01% or 0.0001. If you want to calculate the percentage into basis points, you can divide the basis point by 100.
Let’s convert 3% into bps. For this, you need to divide 3% or 0.03 by 100, and you will get the result of 0.03. In the next step, divide 0.03 by 0.0001, and you will get the result as 300 Bps.
However, if you’re unsure about the calculations, you can simply use any of the online basis points calculators for instant and accurate results.
Let’s understand this concept more clearly and lucidly with the help of an example. Suppose Mr. Singh wants to invest in a government bond that offers an interest rate of 12.50%. After some months, interest or coupon rate of the same fell to 12.15%. Therefore, you can measure a change in interest rate with the help of basis points.
As per the formula mentioned above, the change in interest rates in this scenario is equal to 35 basis points. We can safely conclude that the interest rate has fallen by 35 basis points for the said bond.
If you wish to convert basis points into percentages, you must multiply by 100.
Let’s say there are 300 basis points, and you wish to convert the same into a percentage. In this scenario, you should first multiply 300 by 0.0001 to get = 0.03. Remember, as discussed before, one basis point is equal to 0.01% or 0.0001.
In the next step, you multiply the result by 100, which is equal to 3%. Therefore, 300 basis points mean a 3% percentage.
Here are some instruments in which you can use basis points:
It is a debt instrument that corporate houses issue in order to raise funds for financing their needs. Any change in interest or coupon rate can be measured by basis points.
These are funding instruments issued by federal or state governments. Again, basis points can be helpful if we wish to analyse changes occurring in interest rates. It will simplify our understanding of returns from treasury bonds.
Changes occurring in interest rates determined by Central banks or commercial banks will be visible from basis points.
Again, changes occur in the interest rates of credit cards. You can analyse the same using Bps or basis points.
All minute changes below one percentage occurring in equity instruments can be assessed by calculating the basis points.
One can also use bps calculation to assess the changes occurring in the return rate of stock market derivatives like futures and options.
Here are some benefits of using the basis point metric:
Investors and analysts use basis points to analyse changes occurring in interest rates of various instruments like bonds, credit cards, etc. Another reason why they use basis points is to clear ambiguity regarding absolute and relative changes occurring in various rates.
Suppose the repo rate has gone up from 5% to 6%. Some may consider this as an absolute change of one percent. On the other hand, many would argue that it is a relative change of 5.01%. This will lead to a lot of confusion; hence, investors use basis points and say there is a rise of 100 Bps, which leads to effective communication.
The basis point is an efficient financial metric that measures changes occurring in interest rates for loans and other debt instruments. It clears all ambiguities associated with the rate change. Investors and market analysts tend to use this calculation system instead of using percentages to convey the change in values effectively.
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Using measurement values of 1 Bps equal to 0.01%, 75 basis points would be equivalent to 0.75% in percentage terms and 0.0075 in decimal.
Depending on the kind of mortgage that you are opting for and prevailing interest rates, basis points will affect your equated monthly payments or EMI and the total interest component of your loan amount.
Yes, they can be negative in regular parlance. However, positive or negative basis points will depend on the directional change in interest rates. A negative basis point may imply a fall or reduction in interest rates.
In the financial sector, most individuals prefer using basis points over percentages as they are convenient. They are less ambiguous than percentages as they represent a set figure instead of a ratio.
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