Catastrophe bonds hit by Japanese quake

Smoke rises over the Japanese city of Sendai, hit by March’s tsunami

The recent earthquake in Japan is causing uncertainty over whether a number of catastrophe (cat) bonds will be triggered, and on the broader consequences for the market.

According to Moody’s Investors Service, four cat bonds are directly exposed to Japanese earthquake risk: Muteki Ltd Series 2008-1, Valais Re Ltd Series 2008-1, Vega Capital Ltd Series 2008-1, and Vega Capital Ltd Series 2010-1.

Cat bonds are designed to transfer risks from reinsurance companies, sponsors of the deals, to

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