Skip to main content

Country Default Risk

The Dubai debacle has prompted Bespoke Research to put up the various country risk of default. There are CDS being traded that measures the cost of insuring $10,000 of country debt for 5 years. If you look at the table, Dubai's cost is $541, which is comparatively a lot better off than say, Argentina $985, Venezuela $1,170. However, $541 is a very very high figure. You can get a sense of just how global traders view Dubai's risk of default by looking at countries that are a bit cheaper to insure: even the hellish Iceland is at just $398, however that has dropped from a highly precarious $976 at the end of 2008; the problematic Russia cost only $218.

Surprisingly, Indonesia's risk to insure is very high at $231. Malaysia looks like a hero among these countries, costing only $117. The risk traders are not stupid, they do look at everything, they have China at just $87.

The USA still have its reserve status firmly intact, despite the recent rumblings over the dollar and the furiously overworked money printing press by the Fed, it only cost $32 to insure. Australia is at a highly enviable $34.

I should really start to trade these country default CDS. I think on a 12 month view, my likely preferred trades in my order of attractiveness would be:

1) Buy Japan at $81 (buy as in hoping that the cost to insure would go much higher over a 12 month period).

2) Buy US at $32.

3) Buy Australia at $34.

4) Sell Indonesia at $231.

5) Buy Egypt at $241.

6) Buy Mexico at $159.

7) Sell the Philippines at $208.

Funnily enough, I cannot really place a bet on Malaysia, don't really have a strong clue up or down Even curiouser was that I have a better sense of countries where their risk is seeming rising, but not as strong a conviction for countries on the improve.

Oh, to explain my top 3 bets: Japan's public debt is actually quite insurmountable and is reaching a climax - they keep having to change the Prime Minister because no one has the political will to effect the changes, something's gotta give soon; the USA reserve status is overstated, and while I think the status will remain, it won't be as strong as before and a gradual realignment is necessary (i.e. weaker dollar) to get the country on a proper debt reduction diet; Australia's euphoria is largely centered on China's state funds voracious appetite for resources, I do not expect that to go unabated, a lot more downside than upside from here, I expect the OZ government to be a bit more restrictive in "selling natural resources" to China in the months ahead.


p/s photo: Olivia Ong


easystar said…
Hi SD,

Perhaps you want to put in a risk warning to whoever contemplating selling this sort of CDS just in case one of thee do default?

These stuff goes in block of $10m. Collecting $30 - 200k with the risk of going completley bankrupt (despite the small risk) isn't particularly interesting thing to do..
Low said…

Something unrelated here, but do you think investing in unit trusts can take the emotion out of investing? At least to a certain extent?

bindi said…
Portugal, Greece and Spain showed a reduction in its risk value - which to mey personal opinion is not reflective of the current environment.

yusuf bhai
Salvatore_Dali said…
low... no

bindi, agreed

Popular posts from this blog

My Master, A National Treasure

REPOST:  Its been more than two years since I posted on my sifu. This is probably the most significant posting I had done thus far that does not involve business or politics. My circle of close friends and business colleagues have benefited significantly from his treatment.

My Master, Dr. Law Chin Han (from my iPhone)

Where shall I start? OK, just based on real life experiences of those who are close to me. The entire Tong family (Bukit Kiara Properties) absolutely swear that he is the master of masters when it comes to acupuncture (and dentistry as well). To me, you can probably find many great dentists, but to find a real Master in acupuncture, thats a whole different ballgame.

I am not big aficionado of Chinese medicine or acupuncture initially. I guess you have to go through the whole shebang to appreciate the real life changing effects from a master.

My business partner and very close friend went to him after 15 years of persistent gout problem, he will get his heavy attacks at least…

PUC - An Assessment

PUC has tried to reinvent itself following the untimely passing of its founder last year. His younger brother, who was highly successful in his own right, was running Pictureworks in a number of countries in Asia.

The Shares Price Rise & Possible Catalysts

Share price has broken its all time high comfortably. The rise has been steady and not at all volatile, accompanied by steady volume, which would indicate longer term investors and some funds already accumulating nd not selling back to the market.

Potential Catalyst #1

The just launched Presto app. Tried it and went to the briefing. Its a game changer for PUC for sure. They have already indicated that the e-wallet will be launched only in 1Q2018. Now what is Presto, why Presto. Its very much like Lazada or eBay or Alibaba. Lazada is a platform for retailers to sell, full stop. eBay is more for the personal one man operations. Alibaba is more for wholesalers and distributors.

Presto links retailers/f&b/services originators with en…

How Long Will The Bull Lasts For Malaysia

Are we in a bull run? Of course we are. Not to labour the point but I highlighted the start of the bull run back in January this year... and got a lot of naysayers but never mind:

p/s: needless to say, this is Jing Tian ... beautiful face and a certain kind of freshness in her looks and acting career thus far

I would like to extend my prediction that the bull run for Bursa stocks should continue to run well till the end of the year. What we are seeing for the past 3 weeks was a general lull where volume suddenly shrunk but the general trend is still intact. My reasons for saying so:

a) the overall equity markets globally will be supported by a benign recovery complemented by a timid approach to raising rates by most central banks

b) thanks to a drastic bear run for most commodities, and to a lesser extent some oil & gas players, the undertone for "cost of materials" have been weak and has pr…