Graham selection of bonds


I am from India. We do not have much of a bond market here. Most of the bonds are issued by the public sector (Govt owned utilities etc) companies.
Regular Companies raise money by issuing Term Deposits (CDs) of 1 to 3 years which are subscribed to by people who are interested. Typically they pay more than Term Deposit interest rates you get from banks, but they aren't insured like Bank Deposits are. These CDs can't be traded. You have to wait for the end of the term to redeem them.
I am trying to select Company Issued CDs using similar parameters as suggested by Benjamin Graham for Bonds in the USA. One of the parameters he uses is the interest cover ratio. Interest Cover = (Earnings Before Taxes)/(Interest Obligations). Graham recommends a high interest ratio (I think 4 and above for different kinds of bonds).
I find a lot of Manufacturing & Tech Companies who have a good interest cover. But we also have non-banking finance companies in India. These are not banks, but they issue loans. A lot of the Non-Bank CDs are issued by these Finance Companies. Most of these finance companies seem to have a low interest cover (mostly less than 2, a lot of them less than 1.5).
I am trying to figure out whether this is a peculiarity of the finance industry - i.e. they are companies which both pay & receive interest unlike most other companies. Should I applying a different interest cover limit for these companies or are most of these companies not really credit worthy?
Any ideas?
Reply to
RJ

The income stream of most businesses can vary depending on economic conditions. Interest cover is a measure of how much income before interest and taxes can decline before the company is unable to make the required interest payments. Therefore, the only justification for accepting a lower interest cover is if you are sure that the company's income stream is more stable (that is less vulnerable to fluctuations caused by economic conditions) than a typical company.
Reply to
Bill

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