I am an intern in a mutual fund and they have asked me to create in house yield curve for different type bonds in their portfolio

I need to know on what basis are different yield curves made. For example GSec Yield curves are different from corporate ones and Corporate ones are differentiated by ratings and all of them use different fitting curves . E.g Nelson-Siegel or cubic splines.

Can anyone give me a concise classification of what fitting method to use for different type of bonds(AAA, B etc) or link me to a documentation for the same


2 Answers 2


Creating yield curves:

  1. Pick one fitting method and use it throughout e.g. a cubic spline interpolation
  2. Determine an approach that allocates bond securities in the dataset to a yield curve subset. e.g. should all Italian govt instruments go to a single curve? Can I further split by floater, linker, ccy, etc.

It is as simple as that.

Your data subset is: maturity, yield. Full data set will be: instrument identifier, instrument characteristics [ccy, cpn type, rating, seniority, etc] , maturity, yield.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you please elaborate more. You mean i should fit a curve on the whole dataset ( government, corporate etc) , but i did not get what to do after then $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2018 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Pick one method. Apply method to a carefully selected subset. Repeat. $\endgroup$
    – rrg
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ How should i go about selecting that subset? Any literature for the same you can link me to? $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2018 at 11:46

This is just an add-on to @rrg's answer. The first thing I recommend that you do is to talk to your manager and get a better grasp of the project scope (which you may have done already). More specifically, are they asking you to build issuer level curves (doesn't sound that way), or sector curves (more likely). How do they plan to define the sectors (by rating? by industry? etc.) This can easily become a very large project, so it's important that you know exactly how far they want you to progress.

Now back to tackling the project. @rrg already mentioned that there are really just two steps. With regard to security selection, the rule of thumb is straightforward: 1) If at all possible, pick or overweigh bonds that are liquid, with good pricing information; 2) Select bonds that are comparable and representative of the market of interest. This is not a science and lots of art is involved. For example, this answer provides some tips (NOT rules) on what bonds can be included in building the US Treasury curve – there are a lot of nuances. For corporates, you should at least make sure that the issuers are of similar credit quality and go from there.

You then proceed to fit the curve. For corporates, parametric models (e.g., Nelson-Siegel, Svensson, even single piece "splines") are very popular, particularly if you don't have a lot of bonds that span the entire maturity spectrum. Don't reinvent the wheel. Look at existing codebase (e.g., Quantlib) and go from there.

Finally, some references:


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