Open Market Repurchase Agreement: Definition, Benefits, and Drawbacks

An open market repurchase agreement (OMRA) is a type of financial arrangement in which a lender buys securities from a borrower with the promise to sell them back at a later date. This instrument is a form of short-term borrowing that enables companies to access cash quickly by using their own securities as collateral. In this article, we will discuss the definition, benefits, and drawbacks of an open market repurchase agreement.

Definition of Open Market Repurchase Agreement

An open market repurchase agreement is a transaction between two parties that involves the sale of securities on the open market with a simultaneous agreement to buy them back at a higher price on a specific date. The securities sold through an OMRA typically include government bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and treasury bills.

The process of an OMRA involves a borrower selling securities to a lender, usually a bank, in exchange for cash. The borrower agrees to repurchase the securities at a later date, typically within a few days, weeks, or months, at an agreed-upon price. The lender makes a profit in the form of interest on the loan, while the borrower has access to cash quickly.

Benefits of Open Market Repurchase Agreement

OMRAs offer several benefits to companies and investors alike. Firstly, an OMRA enables companies to raise capital quickly without the need for a long-term investment. In addition, since an OMRA is a short-term loan, it allows companies to access credit without incurring high levels of interest or debt. This makes it an attractive option for companies that need to borrow cash quickly.

Moreover, an OMRA allows investors to earn a return on their investment while minimizing risk. Since the securities are typically sold at a discount and repurchased at a premium, investors earn interest on the difference between the two prices. This provides investors with a guaranteed return on their investment without the volatility that comes with other investment options.

Drawbacks of Open Market Repurchase Agreement

While an OMRA can be advantageous to those involved in the transaction, there are also some drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks is the risk involved in the transaction. If the borrower is unable to repurchase the securities at the agreed-upon price, the lender may end up holding onto securities that have lost value, resulting in a loss for the lender.

Additionally, OMRAs are typically used by large financial institutions and corporations, which can limit the availability of this financial instrument for small businesses and investors. Furthermore, there is also the possibility of regulatory changes that could impact the availability and terms of OMRAs.


An open market repurchase agreement is a financial instrument that enables a borrower to access cash quickly by using securities as collateral. OMRAs offer several benefits, including quick access to capital and a low risk investment option for investors. However, there are also drawbacks, such as the risk involved in the transaction and limited availability for small businesses and investors. As with any financial transaction, it is important to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of an OMRA before entering into an agreement.