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Indian Banks Lead Asian Bond Risk to Lowest in More Than a Month 

February 13, 2014
Rachel Evans, Bloomberg

Perceptions of Indian bank risk improved the most in Asia in the past week as the cost of insuring the region’s corporate and sovereign bonds slid to the lowest in more than a month.

ICICI Bank Ltd., India’s second-largest lender by assets, IDBI Bank Ltd. and Bank of India are the three best performing issuers in the Markit iTraxx Asia index since Feb. 5, according to data provider CMA. The gauge of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan is falling for a sixth consecutive day and is poised to close at its lowest level since Jan. 6, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. prices and CMA data show.

Global investors made their biggest monthly purchase of Indian debt in almost two years last month, as Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Jan. 30 the current-account deficit will narrow. The nation’s local-currency notes bucked an emerging-market rout to gain 1.4 percent this year, Asia’s best performance, HSBC Holdings Plc indexes show. Despite signs of economic improvement, lenders’ profitability is likely to remain subdued in the next 12 months, according to Standard & Poor’s.

Read more: Bloomberg

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