Surging credit derivatives volumes were again center stage, with ISDA figures pointing to 48% growth in the first half of the year. "We're seeing a huge amount of interest for credit volatility products," Bikram Chaudhury, director in credit derivatives at Credit Suisse First Boston, told the conference. "There's been a 10-fold increase in credit swaptions this year in Europe."
Chaudhury expects Asia credit vol products to pick up as underlying default-swaps gain in liquidity. Other concepts being applied to credit products include CPPI technology, which started off being applied to credit-linked notes is now being incorporated with long/short tranche plays. "Managed fund-type transactions are now emerging," he added.
Documentation issues surrounding credit derivatives were also discussed, notably settlement issues pertaining to credit events on Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines as well as the more recent Delphi Corp., including the angle of positions in credit indices. Cash rather than physical settlement of indices of default-swaps was also noted. "There's talk of the next roll in the benchmark U.S. contract for a formal move to cash-settled trades," said Rachel Huf, director in the legal department at Barclays Capital in Hong Kong.