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This question pertains to section 54EC infrastructure bonds that are offered in India — the ones with tax-free dividends (though the principal is taxed).

I have invested some money in NHAI and IRFC bonds, with a lock-in period of 10 years (the least offered). I now want to exit them, to rebalance into equity, where I'm significantly underweight relative to my intended asset allocation.

These funds don't have a buy-back option. They are traded on the market, but I don't have a demat account, and don't want one. I'm holding these bonds in physical form.

The prospectus mentions that bonds in physical form can be transferred to another person or entity. Are there financial institutions that offer to buy these bonds? How do I find them?

Or do I have to find a buyer myself, say by asking my friends if they'd like to buy the bonds? :( If someone says yes, what's the procedure to transfer them to their name?

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Can I sell section 54EC infra bonds before maturity?

That would depend on the specific bond, some can be sold before maturity but after the specified lock-in period. Some are non-negotiable / non-transferable and cannot be sold before maturity

The prospectus mentions that bonds in physical form can be transferred to another person or entity. Are there financial institutions that offer to buy these bonds? How do I find them?

Banks will not do this. Any leading broker can help assist you in finding a buyer. Generally you may not find a good deal and the buyer doesn't get any tax benefit and would buy this only for returns and hence may want to buy this cheaper. The broker can assist you with the process, it involves sending of the physical certificate along with a letter and ownership details of new buyer to the registrar of the respective entity. A new certificate will be issued to the new owner.

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