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To Be Announced (TBA)

Definition

“To Be Announced” (TBA) is a term used in the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market to signify a contract for the purchase or sale of MBS for which the specific securities to be delivered have not yet been identified. This allows the issuer to standardize certain parameters like the interest rate, issue date, and amount, while the actual detailed information is ‘to be announced’. Its main aim is to add liquidity to the secondary mortgage market.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation for “To Be Announced” (TBA) is: /tʊ biː əˈnaʊnst/

Key Takeaways

1. Not a Specific Date: “To Be Announced” (TBA) is a term commonly used when the exact date or details of an event or action are not yet certain. It acts as a placeholder until final decisions are made or confirmation is received.

2. Used in Various Contexts: TBA can be found in various areas, such as event scheduling, business planning, product releases, and show business. It creates flexibility for those in charge of managing the scheduling plans.

3. Communication Strategy: By using TBA, organizers can generate interest and build anticipation. However, it’s crucial to update the TBA status as soon as possible to maintain proper communication with the audience or stakeholders to avoid confusion or frustration.

Importance

The term “To Be Announced” (TBA) is particularly important in the business/finance industry because it signifies that certain details are yet to be confirmed or disclosed. Specifically, within the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) markets, the TBA contracts allow traders to buy or sell MBS for future delivery, without specifying the exact securities that will be delivered. This mechanism provides significant flexibility and liquidity, making it easier for investors to manage interest rate risks. As a result, TBA plays a crucial role in the efficient functioning of financial markets and can impact the cost of housing finance, impacting both lenders and borrowers.

Explanation

To Be Announced (TBA) is a unique convention employed in the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) markets. It serves a specific purpose to provide flexibility and efficiency within these markets. When TBA transactions occur, they permit the trading of MBS before the actual securities have been issued. This system of forward trading allows the creation of a very liquid market, with greater participant involvement and increased transaction volumes. Often, the specific details of the MBS, such as the pool number and the exact mortgage loans included in the pool, are “to be announced” at a later date closer to the settlement date.TBA is primarily used to facilitate and streamline the trading process, making it possible for buyers and sellers to agree on general trade terms without needing the exact details of the assets involved. This approach is beneficial for both parties in an MBS transaction. From the seller’s perspective, it minimizes the risk of prepayment because they can maintain the mortgage loans in their portfolio until close to the delivery date. For the buyer, it ensures they can secure a supply of MBS at the current market price, even if they do not need to take the delivery immediately. Thus, TBA contributes significantly to the efficient functioning of the secondary market for mortgage-backed securities.

Examples

1. Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) Trades: The “To Be Announced” (TBA) market is a significant sector of the mortgage-backed securities market in the U.S. In these trades, the exact securities or mortgages to be delivered to fulfill a forward contract are “to be announced” at a future date. A specific mortgage pool number is not assigned at the time the trade is executed,, instead, certain parameters are specified such as issuer, mortgage type, interest rate, and term. 2. Film Industry: In the movie industry, when a production company plans a new movie, but the release date or even the title might not be fixed yet, these aspects are often referred to as “to be announced”. Investors interested in financing these projects might consider this TBA status as a sign of potential risk, as well as potential opportunity. 3. Tech Industry Product Launches: A tech company like Apple or Samsung could announce they are developing a new product, but details like its price, exact release date and specifications are often “to be announced”. This strategy can create suspense and hype around the product, drawing attention and possible investment.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does TBA mean in the finance and business context?

TBA stands for To Be Announced in finance and business contexts. This is often used in the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market to indicate that certain details of the underlying mortgages are not yet finalized.

When is the TBA market commonly used?

The TBA market is most commonly used in the trading of mortgage-backed securities. Securities are often traded before the specific details, like the exact pool number and number of pools, are announced.

How does the TBA market help investors?

TBA trading provides investors the ability to lock in a price for a MBS before knowing the specific details of the underlying security. This allows investors to manage interest rate risks and implement a variety of investment strategies.

Who are the main participants in the TBA market?

Participants include dealers, money managers, hedge funds, banks, and insurance companies. These entities use the TBA market to manage risk and gain exposure to residential mortgages.

Are there any risks associated with TBA trading?

Yes, there are risks, including interest rate risk if rates move unfavorably between the trade date and settlement date. Additionally, there is the risk of counterparty failure to deliver the security.

What factors determine the price of a TBA MBS?

The price of a TBA MBS can be affected by various factors. These include the type of mortgage, the coupon rate, the maturity of the mortgages, the outstanding principal balance, and prevailing market interest rates, among other factors.

Can TBA trading occur for any type of bond?

No, TBA trading is specific to mortgage-backed securities. It does not apply to other types of bonds such as corporate or government bonds.

Related Finance Terms

  • Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)
  • Security Identification Number (SIN)
  • Trade Date
  • Good Delivery Guidelines
  • Forward Settlement

Sources for More Information

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