LONDON, July 11 The cost of insuring Italian
debt against default jumped to a new record high on Monday
before an European Union emergency meeting on ripe concerns that
Italy could become the next victim of a regional debt crisis.
Five-year credit default swaps (CDS) on Italian government
debt rose 30 basis points to 279 basis points, according to data
monitor Markit. This means it costs 279,000 euros to protect 10
million euros of exposure to Italian bonds.
European officials will meet for an emergency meeting later
this session -- talks organised after a sharp sell-off in
Italian assets on Friday increased fears of contagion beyond the
weaker euro zone members. Italy has the highest sovereign debt
ratio relative to its economy in the euro zone after Greece.
The cost of insuring Greek, Irish and Portuguese debt
against default also widened to record levels. Five-year Greek
CDS was 110 basis points wider at 2,300 bps and the Irish
equivalent jumped 68 basis points to 970 basis points.
The cost of insuring Portuguese debt against default widened
77 basis points to 1,090 bps.
(Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)