Saudi Arabia CDS climb to record high, Russia, South Africa at multi-year peaks

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – The cost of insuring exposure to debt issued by major oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia surged on Monday, with China, Turkey, South Africa and Italy also seeing significant climbs as fears persisted over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Saudi Arabia, which started an oil price war over a failure to agree a production cut with Russia, saw its five-year CDS soar to a record high of 233 basis points, up from 198 bps at Friday’s close, IHS Markit data showed. Russia’s CDS added 35 bps to 301 bps, the highest in four years.

With fears rising about the effect of the virus on the global economy, Turkey’s CDS added 56 bps to 579, while South Africa’s climbed 48 bps to 425, the highest point since 2009. China’s CDS reached 77 bps, up 8 bps from Friday’s close and Italy , the country with the highest death toll from the virus, saw its CDS add 10 bps to 196 bps.

European banks were also hit by rises, with levels for Deutsche Bank and UniCredit both rising by 16 bps, and Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland each posting 11 bp increases. (Reporting by Tom Arnold)

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