Bloomberg News

Sovereign, Corporate Bond Risk Rises, Credit-Default Swaps Show

March 02, 2012

The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign and corporate debt rose, according to traders of credit-default swaps.

The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of swaps on 15 governments gained two basis points to 339 at 8:30 a.m. in London. An increase signals deteriorating perceptions of credit quality.

Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings increased four basis points to 562.5, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings rose 0.75 basis point to 127.5 basis points. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers increased two basis points to 201 and the subordinated index climbed 3.5 to 343.5.

A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($13.3 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abigail Moses in London at Amoses5@bloomberg.net

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


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