Credit Suisse First Boston and JPMorgan are looking at ways to reduce the foreign exchange risk in synthetic collateralized debt obligations to improve the efficiency of the structure. At the moment CDO structurers get a conservative rating where deliverable obligations can be in several currencies, because a shift in the exchange rate could alter the real recovery rate, said Irene Ho-Moore, managing director at Standard & Poor's in London.
Officials at JPMorgan said it has started to address the issue using quantoed credit-default swaps. This is a credit-default swap with an embedded foreign exchange option, which is delta hedged. The firm already uses asset swaps in true sale transactions, which convert all interest and principal payments into the required currency at a set rate.
An official at CSFB said it is looking at this now and would hope to bring out deals in the coming weeks with new models. The official declined to elaborate on the model.