Bloomberg News

Sovereign, Company Bond Risk Falls in Europe, Default Swaps Show

May 29, 2012

The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign and corporate debt fell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of credit- default swaps on 15 governments fell 1.5 basis points to 315 at 8 a.m. in London. A decline signals improvement in perceptions of credit quality.

Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings dropped 10 basis points to 690.

The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings was down two at 167.75 basis points. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers declined four basis points to 290 and the subordinated gauge was 5.5 lower at 484.5.

A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($12.5 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: Michael Shanahan in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at

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