Sim Companies - Bonds guide

Corporate Bonds

Corporate bonds are one of the most useful financing tools that real companies use to get funds. Simcompanies simulates real world corporate bonds in a simpler way, the aim is to simplify the mechanics.

Funding is essential to get your company going, however, it also a high risk element. If a company borrows too much at a high interest, it can make the gameplay a bitter experience. This is mainly why the bonds feature unlocks at level 10 when it's assumed you are a skilled businessman by now and know what you are doing.

What are bonds?

Bond is essentially a debt, or an 'I owe you' paper. When companies sell bonds, they get money in return, which they will have to pay back later. The bond buyer/owner receives an interest while he owns the bond.

In simcompanies, the bonds cannot be re-sold, so the mechanics of bond's lifecycle is kept simple. The bond is issued by the bond issuer (the company seeking funds). Bonds are put on the exchange for potential buyers to see. Once the bond is purchased, the bond issuer/seller gets the money, and the bond buyer/owner will receive daily interest from now on. As mentioned earlier, the purchased bonds can't be re-sold to other companies.

Once the bond issuing company no longer wants to pay interest, it can call the bond, which means the bond issuing/selling company buys the bonds back. It has to return the borrowed funds but does not have to pay the interest anymore.

How to use bonds effectively

The art of using this feature efficiently is in knowing what your return on investment (ROI) is, or what it actually will be, after you get the funding, and adjusting your interest rate accordingly.

Let's look at an actual example - your company is looking to get a loan of $51,750. You already know you want to build a power plant, and you are confident you will make 8.08% return on investment on it every day. This means you will make $4,183 profit when selling power every day. All you need to do now is issue bonds that total up to a value of $55,000, with interest rate of, say 2%, so you will pay $1,650 to the bond buyer daily. This means you are making around $2,500 more every day by issuing bonds than you would if you didn't issue these bonds. You would always want to offer lower interest rate than what your actual return would be. But the higher the interest rate, the higher are the chances somebody will buy your bonds (effectively lend you the money).

The same goes the other way round; your company may be sitting on a lot of cash, and you see that the best return on investment you can get is around 1%. In which case, you can look at the bond market and find a trustworthy, reliable company offering %2 interest rate.

You may have a good supplier who's delivering reliably the resources you want. But the quantities are just not there yet. You can buy his bonds, giving him the boost he needs to expand and better fulfill your needs!

Building ROI

Let's illustrate with a few examples and real numbers plugged in. Please note that your production and selling price may differ depending on the cost of your labor and input resources. Use these just as guidelines. Take a look at the ROI (return-on-investment per day) If this is higher than your bond interest, you will make more money than what you pay on the interest.

Warning! You should take into account that lvl 3 of any building, costs twice as much as a lvl 2 upgrade while giving the same production uplift, so if lvl 1 and lvl 2 building generates 10% ROI, then the level 3 will only do 5%. Also, the more buildings you have the higher administration cost, so you can also expect your labor costs to go up. The safest way is to issue the bonds gradually, few at a time, one building at a time.

Input parameters

Building cost (investment) $51,750
Power produced 2,566.9 / hour
Power production cost $0.17
Power selling price $0.24

Return on investment (ROI)

Profit selling with contracts $4,312 / day (8.33% ROI)
Profit selling on market $4,183 / day (8.08% ROI)

Input parameters

Building cost (investment) $6,900
Apples produced 202.2 / hour
Apple production cost $1.7
Apple selling price $2.15

Return on investment (ROI)

Profit selling in retail $2,184 / day (31.65% ROI)
Profit selling with contracts $1,213 / day (17.58% ROI)
Profit selling on market $177 / day (2.57% ROI)

Note: The transportation cost plays a major role in the food industry, which is why selling using contracts/market has very different ROI when compared to selling with retail.

Input parameters

Building cost (investment) $82,800
Batteries produced 25.3 / hour
Battery production cost $65
Battery selling price $77

Return on investment (ROI)

Profit selling with contracts $7,165 / day (8.65% ROI)
Profit selling on market $6,825 / day (8.24% ROI)

How do I pay the interest?

I sold bonds and I have the funding. Great. Now, when and how do I pay the interest?

The money is automatically deducted at UTC midnight.

Guarantees

I am buying bonds, what's the guarantee that the bond issuing company will pay the interest? Well, there's no guarantee. Interest is deducted automatically given the bond issuing company has sufficient money. But if the player stops playing, resets or deletes the account, the bonds may be called at 75% value. However, this is also not guaranteed. It's called a bad investment, see 'Insolvency' below.

Simcompanies has its own rating agency that assigns ratings to companies based on their standing. You can use the assigned ratings as a pointer to determine the level of risk when investing in bonds.

Insolvency

Bond interests are deducted in the order the bonds were sold. If your company budget does not allow interest deduction at UTC midnight, the missing payment is recorded and is paid at the next UTC midnight together with the new interest payment.

If the missed interest payments add up to 25% value of the bonds, bankruptcy proceedings start. Buildings are leveled down until the 75% of bonds value is recovered, the bonds are then called at 75% of the value.

If the company that issued bonds is reset/deleted, the same bankruptcy proceedings are executed right before the reset/deletion, possibly giving 75% of the bonds value back to the bond owners. If the company that bought your bonds is reset/deleted the bonds are transferred to NPC and you still need to pay the interest or can call the bond.

Restrictions

Some restrictions on use of bonds are in place to create a fair-play environment and make embezzlement difficult.

  • Only companies at level 10 or higher can issue or buy bonds.
  • Companies deemed affiliated to each other by the game system cannot buy each other's bonds.
  • Interest rate is limited to range of 0.5% to 5.0%.
  • Companies can't buy bonds at lower than or at the same interest than the interest rate at which they themselves have issued bonds.
  • Bonds can only be called after 2 weeks from the purchase.
  • Companies can invest only 3% of their own company's worth into a single company.
  • Companies cannot scrap buildings if the scrap would bring their asset value bellow 80% of their bond liability.

Strategies

Simia wrote a short strategy guide about how other players are using the bonds and what basic strategies you can employ.

Do you have what it takes to build a successful company? Try Sim Companies business simulation game now!

by Patrik Beck
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