CDS notionals made a comeback in 2021

A 5% rise to highest end-year figure since 2017 driven by swaps on junk debt

Global dealer banks’ outstanding notionals of over-the-counter credit default swaps (CDSs) grew 5% to $8.8 trillion in 2021 – the highest end-year figure in four years.

Data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) shows the surge was driven by CDSs on non-investment grade (IG) debt, up 15% from end-2020, and 7% from end-June 2021 to $2 trillion notional. In contrast, swaps on IG debt fell 6% and 4% over the respective period to $4.6 billion.

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