Difference between Shares and Debentures

Difference between Shares and Debentures


Companies, legal entities, and governments can raise money in several ways, which implies that different types of capital structures can be created depending on an individual’s appropriateness. It may contain various elements, including debt funds, reserves, and share capital.

One of the most frequently encountered terms when raising money or investing in shares and debentures. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the investment of shares and debentures. The critical difference between shares and debentures is that shares are the capital that belongs to the company’s stockholders. It grants the right to cast a ballot in corporate matters and to a share of the company’s revenues.

Debentures are also debt instruments that the corporation issues to raise money. It contains a fixed interest rate and cumulative and non-cumulative features that can be redeemed in instalments or one lump sum after a set amount of time.

To enhance your knowledge between debentures vs shares and to choose the one that is most appropriate for your portfolio, you must comprehend how they differ from one another.

What are Shares?

Shares are discrete portions of a company’s capital. Investors purchase a share or several shares in a company when it goes public for the first time and is listed on stock exchanges to raise funds from the market.

Shareholders who purchase shares are entitled to ownership of the business. In other words, you acquire ownership of the business in proportion to your shares. Shares are standard investment instruments corporations issue to sell a piece of their ownership to retail investors and raise money. These are also referred to as owned capital or scripts.

One holds a portion of the company’s financial capital as a stockholder and is entitled to a share of the company’s profits as compensation. There is no legal requirement for the corporation to compensate the shareholders if something occurs to the business because they represent ownership rather than debt. Dividends are one way that some businesses, however, choose to give shareholders their profits. Others might not, choosing to use every profit to run, expand, and safeguard their future.

What are Debentures?

A government or business may issue debt instruments such as debentures to pay its financial obligations. Investors are rewarded for lending money to the issuer by receiving interest income. They typically have a long duration, surpassing ten years, and are an unsecured form of public borrowing.

A debenture is a long-term loan that a company or government issues to the general public to fund capital requirements. For instance, a government might raise money to build public highways. Holders of debentures are the issuing company’s creditors as opposed to shareholders, who are the owner.

Like most bonds, debentures may issue periodic interest payments known as coupon payments. Debentures are described in an indenture, much like other kinds of bonds. A binding legal agreement between bond issuers and bondholders is known as an indenture. The agreement details the terms of a debt issue, including the maturity date, the frequency of interest or coupon payments, the formula for calculating interest, and other details.

Both governments and corporations may issue debentures. Long-term bonds, those with maturities longer than ten years, are often issued by governments. These government bonds, which have the backing of the issuing government, are regarded as low-risk investments.

Shares vs Debentures

Now that you know their meaning let us look at the shares and debentures difference.

  • Owning shares makes you a shareholder or partial owner of the business, giving you a stake in its assets and revenue. Debenture holders are the company’s creditors and are entitled to repayment of the principal and interest on the company’s assets.
  • Dividends and capital growth represent returns on investment for shareholders. A percentage of the company’s income is given as dividends to shareholders. Shareholders can sell their shares at a better price in the future and make capital gains if the share value rises over time. Holders of debentures receive rewards in the form of regular interest payments. Debentures have a fixed interest rate that is paid regularly until the maturity date.
  • Compared to debentures, shares are thought to be riskier. Shareholders are the last to get payment in the event of financial trouble or bankruptcy after all other debts have been paid. Debenture holders are given precedence in repayment over shareholders, giving them a more extraordinary claim on the company’s assets and increasing their perceived security.
  • Shares, which indicate ownership in the corporation, are categorised as equity instruments. Instruments that represent a company’s borrowing are called debentures. By attending shareholder meetings, shareholders can exercise their right to vote and participate in decision-making. Because they are creditors rather than owners of the corporation, holders of debt instruments are not entitled to vote.
  • For some debentures to convert into shares, a certain conversion ratio must be met. This feature enables holders of debentures to convert their debt into equity at their discretion. However, shares cannot be changed into debentures.
  • There is no maturity date for shares. They stand for an everlasting ownership stake in the business. Debentures have a specified maturity date, after which the principal is fully returned to the debt instrument holders.


Shares and debentures are two different types of capital, each with advantages and disadvantages. Investors and stakeholders should conduct thorough research before selecting how much risk they are willing to face and the financial stability and future potential of the company they wish to participate in. Both shares and debentures are essential components of a company’s capital. It is necessary to learn how various businesses and industries operate to adjust the ratio between these based on the demands. Your option selection should be based on your investing objectives, level of risk tolerance, and time horizon.  Establish the investment goal, evaluate the risk profile, thoroughly investigate the market, and select an appropriate investment route.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *