What is Tenor?


The tenor of a financial contract indicates how much time is left before it will expire. Find out which tenor agreements can be hazardous to investors here.

Key Takeaways

  • Tenor is a term used to describe the remaining duration of a financial contract.
  • Contracts with higher tenors can be seen as more risky and vice versa.
  • It is important to grasp the meaning of a financial contract in order to evaluate its risk and sustain a stable flow of funds.

What is Tenor?

Tenor is a term used to describe the length of time until a financial instrument matures. It is most commonly associated with bank loans and insurance contracts, but it can also be used to refer to other types of financial instruments such as derivatives. Tenor is important because it helps investors understand the risk associated with a particular security. For example, a loan with a long tenor may be considered riskier than one with a shorter tenor because there is more time for its value to fall. Similarly, a futures contract with a long tenor could be said to be relatively risky because there is still a significant time in which its value might fall.

Why Understanding Tenor is Important 

In addition to understanding the risk associated with an instrument, understanding the tenor can also help investors determine when they will receive their returns from an investment. Knowing when an investment will mature can help investors plan for future expenses or investments and ensure that they are able to make the most out of their money. Understanding tenor is therefore essential for any investor looking to make informed decisions about their investments.

How Tenor Differs From Maturity 

Tenor and maturity are two important concepts in finance that have distinct meanings. Tenor refers to the length of time remaining in a contract, while maturity is the initial length of the agreement upon its inception. For example, if a 10-year government bond was issued five years ago, then its maturity would be ten years and its tenor—the time remaining until the end of the contract—would be five years. This means that as time passes, the tenor of a financial instrument decreases while its maturity remains constant.

It is important to understand the distinction between tenor and maturity when analyzing financial instruments. Knowing how much time is left on a contract can help investors determine whether or not it is worth investing in. Additionally, understanding the initial length of an agreement can provide insight into how long an investor will need to wait before they can receive their return on investment. By understanding both concepts, investors can make more informed decisions about which investments are right for them.

Examples of Tenor 

Joe is the CFO of a mid-size publicly traded corporation, and they are responsible for ensuring that the company has adequate working capital to carry out its operations. To do this, Joe buys and sells short and medium-term financial instruments with tenors ranging from one to five years. These transactions take place in the corporate bond market as well as through over-the-counter derivative transactions with various counterparties.

Currently, Joe’s portfolio includes several instruments from highly creditworthy counterparties with maturities of five years. Since these securities were purchased three years ago, they have tenors of two years. This means that the investments will mature in two years’ time, at which point Joe will need to decide whether or not to reinvest them or find new investments with different tenors. By carefully managing his portfolio of financial instruments, Joe can ensure that the company has sufficient working capital for its operations while also taking advantage of any potential returns on investment.


Tenor is used to measure the maturity period of a financial instrument. Understanding tenor can help investors determine when they will receive their returns from an investment.


What is tenor in banking?’

In the banking industry, tenor is the length of time it will take the borrower to pay back their loan with interest included. Generally, the repayment of a home loan may span 5–20 years, although some banks offer loans lasting up to 25 years.

What Is Maximum Tenor?

Loan terms typically range between 5 and 25 years, with a maximum of 30 years, depending on the project and its debt repayment capacity.

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