Cost of Insuring Greek Debt Soars Past Venezuela's

Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010 09:49 AM

The financial market believes Greece is more likely than not to default on its debt over five years, and the cost of insuring that debt has now risen above Venezuela, according to CMA Datavision.

Greek five-year credit default swaps (CDS) rose on Wednesday to a record high 911.6 basis points, or bps, surpassing Venezuela which was until now the highest of all the sovereigns tracked by CMA. (One basis point is equivalent to 0.01%, or one-hundredth of a percentage point.)

That means the market is assigning an implied default rate of 52.6 percent to Greek debt, compared with Venezuela's 44.4 percent. Venezuelan five-year CDS were quoted at 836 bps, CMA said.

A day after Standard & Poor's downgraded Greece's ratings to junk status, it now costs over $900,000 to insure $10 million of Greek debt for a five-year period.

Venezuelan debt insurance costs were until this week the highest of the 70 sovereigns tracked by CMA, followed by Argentina and Pakistan, CMA data shows. But recent weeks have seen Greek CDS surge — they have risen more than 500 bps since the start of April.

In this period, Venezuelan CDS have fallen by 100 bps.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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