May 17 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring against default on European debt fell, according to BNP Paribas SA.
Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings fell 11.5 basis points to 730.5 at 10 a.m. in London. A decline signals improvement in perceptions of credit quality.
The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings dropped five basis points to 174.5.
The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers fell 6.5 basis points to 286.5 and the subordinated index declined five to 476.
A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($12.7 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.
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