Reporting rules cloud ability of sovereigns to post collateral

Dealers want sovereign clients to start posting collateral, but European Union reporting rules make that tricky. Raising funds to post collateral would have an impact on national debt figures – and the same is also true when receiving cash collateral. But it’s not clear how many states adhere to these requirements. Duncan Wood reports

Bruno Debergh

First, the bad news: European countries may be misreporting or ignoring billions of euros of debt associated with their derivatives trades. Now, the good news: it’s not really debt.

According to Eurostat, the standard-setter for national statistics in the European Union (EU), cash collateral posted to debt offices and other sovereign entities against derivatives counterparty exposures has to be reported as a loan and included in each country’s debt statistics. Some countries, such as Belgium and

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