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CCP basis is a price differential that reflects the margin costs for dealers of clearing a swap at one central counterparty (CCP) versus another.
If a dealer enters a cleared swap at one CCP but can only find liquidity to hedge it at a second CCP, it creates two directional positions at the clearing houses. This would require two initial margin payments, which need to be funded.
This funding cost is reflected in the basis, which is applied to the fixed rate of a new cleared swap at a given clearing house to incentivise swap users to balance out a dealer’s exposure at the two CCPs.
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