Bloomberg News

Asia-Pacific Bond Risk Declines, Credit-Default Swap Prices Show

April 11, 2013

The cost of insuring corporate and sovereign bonds in the Asia-Pacific region against non-payment dropped, according to traders of credit-default swaps.

The Markit iTraxx Japan index fell 3 basis points to 87 basis points as of 9:15 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Citigroup Inc. prices. The level would be the lowest close since April 2010, according to data-provider CMA.

The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan declined 1 basis point to 112 basis points as of 8:29 a.m. in Hong Kong, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc prices show. The gauge is set for its lowest close since before the current series started trading on March 20, according to CMA, which is owned by McGraw-Hill Cos. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the private market.

The Markit iTraxx Australia index slid 0.75 basis point to 111 as of 10:14 a.m. in Sydney, according to Westpac Banking Corp. prices. The benchmark was last lower on March 19, the day before the current series began, CMA data show.

Credit-default swap indexes are benchmarks for insuring bonds against default and traders use them to speculate on credit quality. A drop signals improving perceptions of creditworthiness, while an increase suggests the opposite.

The swap contracts pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities if a borrower fails to meet its debt agreements.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Purvis in Sydney at bpurvis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katrina Nicholas at knicholas2@bloomberg.net


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