Bearer bond

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A bearer bond or bearer bond is a bond (synonymous bond) serving as a bearer document is issued. The owner of the certificate is not named by name, which enables problem-free transfer and thus ensures a high marketability.

Legal situation in Germany

The legal situation for bearer bonds is expressly regulated in the law in § § 793 ff. BGB . Since the law generally says little about bearer securities, the provisions on bearer bonds can also be applied analogously to other bearer securities, such as bearer shares. Ownership of bearer bonds is transferred informally by agreement and handover in accordance with the rules of property law acquisition ( Section 929 ff. BGB). The legal definition of Section 793, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB) states that every owner - provided that he is entitled to dispose of documents - may demand the promised performance from the debtor. There is therefore a legal presumption that the owner of a bearer bond is also its owner . The possession of the paper and the rights vested in are so closely related that the respective holder of the certificate and the creditor of the issuer is. In Section 794 (1) BGB, the provision of Section 935 (2) BGB, which applies to all bearer papers, is even confirmed that the debtor must also provide bearer bonds that have been stolen, lost or otherwise circulated without the will of the debtor. The exhibitor's obligation to perform is triggered solely by submitting the certificate ( Section 793 (1) BGB). The exhibitor may therefore only refuse payment if the issuance of the certificate was invalid, if there are objections to the certificate (e.g. missing due date) or if there are objections directly against the holder ( Section 796 BGB).

The debtor must be handed the bond upon payment ( § 797 BGB), which makes the bearer bond - in addition to the declaration of nullity regulated in § 799 BGB (in the case of lost or destroyed documents) in the public notice procedure - a security. The four-year presentation period for interest coupons from bearer bonds ( Section 801 (2) and (3) BGB) is mandatory .

No approval is required

For a long time, the issuance of bearer and order bonds was subject to legal approval by the Federal Minister of Economics (§ 795 BGB, § 808a BGB). The approval reservation, which was valid until December 1990, gave the Federal Minister of Finance a certain responsibility for the functionality of the capital market. The provisions stipulated that the Federal Government had to approve the issuance of bearer and order bonds if this appeared necessary to maintain the functionality of the capital market or to protect the currency. These provisions were repealed in December 1990 in order to liberalize the capital market. Since then, the issuance of bonds has not been subject to any restrictions under public law; in particular, there is no longer any public-law approval proviso that can serve as the legal basis for subsequent interventions and changes to the terms and conditions of issued bonds.


Like all bearer bonds, bearer bonds have a particularly high marketability ( fungibility ) due to their informal transferability . Because of this advantage, they are now the predominant form of bond on the market. The fungibility ensures that the bearer bond can be traded on the stock exchange . If it is admitted to trading on the stock exchange, the bearer bond can be sold by the investor at any time on the stock exchange. This marketability is an essential criterion for investment companies that have to invest the deposits of the investment savers in securities that can be valued and sold at any time (Section 8 (1) KAGG old version).

Issuers of bearer bonds

Issuers of bearer bonds are companies from the banking , industry , trade and transport sectors that can issue bearer bonds . Emissions are eligible for company formally especially when their bearer bonds on the regulated exchange trading according to § § 32 et seq. Stock Exchange Act have been approved. Public bonds of the federal government, the special funds of the federal government and the federal states are automatically admitted to stock exchange trading by § 37 BörsG and do not require an admission procedure. Bearer bonds approved for exchange trading only meet the technical requirements for exchange trading; a statement about the creditworthiness of the bond debtor is not associated with this. Rather, the investor must check the repayment risks of the bonds at any time. He can get support for this through ratings given by rating agencies or through advice from credit institutions .

Types of bearer bonds

Public bonds and corporate bonds are predominantly, but not always, issued as bearer bonds (“bearer bonds”). Convertible bonds , medium-term notes and certificates are bearer bonds. While savings bonds regularly to the order bonds belong to covered bonds of mortgage banks as registered securities issued; Savings bank letters and savings bonds are usually registered bonds .

Bearer card

If cards, brands or similar documents , in which a creditor is not named, are issued by the issuer under certain circumstances which indicate that he wants to be obliged to the holder to provide a service, the provisions of § 793 Paragraph 1 and the application corresponding to § 794 , § 796 , § 797 BGB ( § 807 BGB). This includes phone cards , non-personal admission tickets, but not baggage tickets and cloakroom tickets , as the latter only serve as evidence, but the right can also be exercised by whoever does not hold the paper.

As a rule, the creditor is not identified on these cards. Since they embody a right, they have document quality and are documents .

The exhibitor is only obliged to perform if the owner card is handed over ( § 797 , § 807 BGB). If it is not possible to actually hand it over to the exhibitor, cancellation is sufficient.

Individual evidence

  1. Jonathan B. Berk, Peter M. DeMarzo: Fundamentals of finance. Analysis, decision and implementation . Pearson Deutschland GmbH, 2011 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  2. Lutz Sedatis: Introduction to Securities Law , 1988, p. 186
  3. Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry of Finance, 1988, report on the state's debt structure policy of September 28, 1978 , p. 274
  4. German Bundestag Printed Matter 13/9347 of 4 December 1997th
  5. Hans E. Büschgen: Bankbetriebslehre und Bankmanagement , 1998, p. 387.
  6. ^ Willi Albers: Handbuch der Wirtschaftswwissenschaft , 1978, p. 417.
  7. Commentary BGB § 808 a, marginal nos. 2 and 89, 1981
  8. Habersack: Munich Commentary on the BGB Preliminary Remark §793 . 7th edition. 2017, p. Marg. 21 .