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.

China, the world's biggest economy after the U.S., is stepping up efforts to support growth as Europe's debt crisis dents demand for exports. While the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for China's gross domestic product to expand 8.2 percent in 2012, that would still outstrip the 2.2 percent worldwide. Asia's growth is forecast at 6.82 percent.

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