Gilt-edged securities are bonds issued by certain national governments. The term is of British origin, and originally referred to the debt securities issued by the Bank of England, whose paper certificates had a gilt (or gilded) edge.
Hence, they are known as gilt-edged securities, or gilts for short.
Today the term is used in the United Kingdom as well as some Commonwealth nations, such as South Africa and India.
Typically, these are issued by blue chip companies that dependably meet dividend or interest payments because they are well-established and financially stable.
However, when reference is made to "gilts", what is generally meant is UK gilts, unless otherwise specified.
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