BIS reports strong growth in OTC derivatives

Notional outstanding of over-the-counter derivatives increased by 135% to $516 trillion from June 2004 to June 2007, according to the Bank for International Settlements' (BIS) latest triennial central bank survey of foreign exchange and derivatives market activity.

This corresponds to an annualised compounded rate of growth of 33%. This is higher than the approximate 20% average annual rate of increase since positions in OTC derivatives were first surveyed by the BIS in 1995.

The organisation noted particularly rapid growth in credit, where positions in credit derivatives increased more than tenfold to $51 trillion. Credit default swaps were the most dominant instrument in this category, accounting for 88% of positions.

Activity in the OTC derivatives market accelerated in the first half of 2007, with notional amounts outstanding for all types of OTC contracts increasing by 25%, following a 12% increase in the second half of 2006.

Ryan Davidson.

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