Illiquid

Glossary

Banking

Illiquid

Illiquid securities or investments are those for which there is no active / liquid two-way market, meaning there may not be ready buyers or sellers. Holders or owners looking to sell will be unable to do so quickly without affecting their value. Property is the classic illiquid asset class. In illiquid securities, holders will be required either to wait for a buyer or seller offering fair value to emerge, or sell at a discount if they need to get out quickly. That does not necessarily mean illiquids are not popular. During periods of ultra-low or negative interest rates and yields, investors can be drawn to illiquid asset classes because they can offer premium returns. Investors, for example, charge illiquidity premiums for bonds of sub-benchmark size, of unrated companies or infrequent issuers.

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