Bank Credit Risk Falls to 16-Month Low as EFSF Sells Bonds

Europe's leadership stepping up adds to confidence.

Bank debt is the safest relative to corporate bonds in almost 16 months amid confidence Europe’s political leaders will step up efforts to end the region’s crisis when they meet this week.

The Markit iTraxx Financial Index of credit-default swaps on the senior debt of 25 European banks and insurers fell for a fifth day and now exceeds a broader measure of 125 investment- grade companies by 49 basis points, compared with 120 basis points in July. The European Financial Stability Facility, the region’s temporary bailout fund, is selling 5.9 billion euros ($7.7 billion) of five-year bonds in its biggest deal since July.

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