Asia’s Corporate Bonds Seen as Safest in World: Credit Markets

Go west young man for better investment choices.

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- For the first time in more than a year companies in Asia are seen as more creditworthy than their global peers, a sign of confidence that economic growth in China will bolster the region as the rest of the world falters.

The Markit iTraxx Asia index of credit-default swaps fell below the average of four corporate bond risk gauges from around the world this week, according to data provider CMA. The Asian benchmark of contracts on 40 borrowers outside Japan tumbled 58 basis points this year to 149 basis points, the biggest decline among Markit Group Ltd. indexes for the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan.

The measure for Asia is comprised of swaps on 36 banks and non-financial companies ranging from Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore energy explorer, to South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., as well as those on sovereign debt of China, Malaysia, Korea and Thailand.

Elsewhere in credit markets, bonds of Boston-based Iron Mountain Inc. are the most actively traded dollar-denominated corporate securities by dealers today, with 114 trades of $1 million or more as of 12:01 p.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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