While people are awaiting a market massacre following the USA downgrade to AA+ by S&P, I felt it’s about time to update my regular list of country risk premiums.
- While tomorrow everyone will surely watch the CDS spread of the USA, on Friday there was no mayor movement before closing. Compared with a month ago (8th of July 2011), it widened only 1BP. So either the downgrade did leak or it left the markets completely unimpressed. I’d guess the later.
- Once again strong increases took place in the Eurozone countries, with especially worrying increases for Cyprus (the spread more than doubled to 809BP), Spain (+40% to 414BP), and Italy (+66% to 373BP).
- Nearly all other Eurozone countries saw also widening spreads, most worryingly France and Belgium were reminded that nobody is untouchable in this crisis. The only Euro members with narrowing spreads were Greece, Portugal and Ireland that profited from the recent bailout, but stayed at pathological levels. The savings in funding costs for these countries was rather small, so I wonder if the bailout was in the interest of the European people as it likely increased the average funding costs across all countries.
- Some non-Euro countries like Sweden and Poland also saw widening spreads. Probably due to significant exposures to the Eurozone in their banking systems and because they will be hit by a recession in Europe.