Pakistan ranked third in 'riskiest debt table'

Reuters April 08, 2010

LONDON: Pakistan whose five-year credit default swap (CDS) monitor is quoted at 791 bps has been ranked as the third riskiest country in the debt table.

Venezuela is deemed to be the world’s riskiest sovereign credit country.

Greece is creeping up the table of countries whose debt is the costliest to insure, credit default swap monitor CDS DataVision said on Tuesday.

Argentina has moved into second place in the riskiest debt table from third, after delays to the country’s planned restructuring of $20b in debt, with CDS around 900 bps.

CMA’s quarterly survey of credit default swaps, which are used to insure against restructuring or default of debt, found Venezuela’s debt insurance costs continue to be the highest after it outstripped Ukraine in December.

However, no sovereign CDS are trading above 1,000 basis points - typically an indicator of distressed debt - for the first time since the start of the global financial crisis.

Venezuela devalued its currency in January and inflation is running around 25 percent.

Venezuela’s CDS are close to 950 bps, meaning it costs $950,000 a year for five years to insure $10 million of sovereign debt.

Overall, however, investors are showing increasing confidence in sovereigns’ ability to repay debt as the world comes out of recession.

Greece, the only euro zone member among the world’s 10 riskiest, moved into ninth place from tenth, with CDS around 335 bps - one place above Egypt.

The euro zone last month agreed a financial safety net for Greece, together with the International Monetary Fund.


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