Bloomberg News

Corporate Bond Risk Falls in Europe, Credit-Default Swaps Show

February 17, 2012

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring against default on European corporate debt fell, according to traders of credit- default swaps.

Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings dropped 12.5 basis points to 595.5, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. at 7:30 a.m. in London. A decline signals improved perceptions of credit quality.

The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings was down three at 134 basis points. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers declined 5.5 basis points to 219 and the subordinated gauge was seven lower at 378.

A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($13.1 million) of debt from default for five years is equivalent to 1,000 euros a year. Swaps pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt agreements.

--Editor: Paul Armstrong

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Shanahan in London at Mshanahan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at Parmstrong10@bloomberg.net


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