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S&P launches CDS US indices

21 January 2009  |  2652 views  |  0 Source: Standard & Poor's

Continuing to provide index solutions that better meet the changing needs of the investing public, Standard & Poor's Index Services today announced the launch of the S&P CDS U.S. Indices.

The Indices are designed to measure the performance of the approximately $29 trillion(1) (notional) Credit Derivatives Market.

"With the launch of the S&P CDS U.S. Indices, Standard & Poor's is responding to the market's need for transparent and objectively run credit default swap indices," says James Rieger, Vice President of Fixed Income Indices at Standard & Poor's Index Services. "Working closely with market participants, Standard & Poor's designed the Indices to track the most liquid credit default swaps and be efficient enough to support investment products such as index funds, index portfolios, and derivatives."

Standard & Poor's is launching three U.S. based CDS indices:

  • The S&P 100 CDS Index initially consists of the 80-90 members of the S&P 100(2) that have CDS with sufficient liquidity. The weight of each constituent in the S&P 100 CDS Index is based upon its weight in the S&P 100.
  • The S&P CDS U.S. Investment Grade (IG) Index consists of 100 equally weighted investment grade U.S. corporate credits which meet certain liquidity criteria
  • The S&P CDS U.S. High Yield (HY) Index consists of 80 equally weighted high yield U.S. corporate credits which meet certain liquidity criteria

Each CDS Index will offer three calculations that reflect the performance of a basket of single name credit default swaps. The first type of calculation, consistent with industry standards, removes a reference obligation from the index upon a credit event. The second type (S&P CDS Event Inclusive Indices) will augment its calculation of the performance of the CDS indices by incorporating the effect of credit events and corporate actions on the affected issues. The third type (S&P CDS Rolling Indices) will calculate the performance of each CDS basket on a continuous basis.

"The S&P 100 CDS Index is the first index to track the performance of the reference entities of an equity index," continues Rieger. "With this first-of-its-type index, Standard & Poor's is providing market participants with a view of the relationship between the equity market and the CDS market for the S&P 100 constituents."

Standard & Poor's is using CMA DataVision, the credit information specialist, as its primary source of pricing for the Indices. Software from SuperDerivatives has been chosen to calculate the Indices.

(1) Source: DTCC Deriv/SERVE
(2) The S&P 100 is an equity index that measures large-cap company performance, and is comprised of 100 major, blue chip companies across diverse industry groups.

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