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

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring company and sovereign bonds against non-payment in the Asia-Pacific region rose, according to traders of credit-default swaps.

The Markit iTraxx Australia index jumped 2 basis points to 122 as of 10:34 a.m. in Sydney, according to Westpac Banking Corp. prices. The measure is poised for its third weekly rise, according to data provider CMA.

The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan added 2 basis points to 153 basis points as of 8:23 a.m. in Hong Kong, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. prices show. The benchmark is set for its second straight week of increases, according to CMA, which is owned by McGraw-Hill Cos. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the private market.

The Markit iTraxx Japan index added 1.5 basis points to 93.75 basis points as of 9:42 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Citigroup Inc. prices. The gauge is set for its biggest daily gain since Sept. 30, 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: Tanya Angerer in Singapore at tangerer@bloomberg.net

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