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EURO GOVT-Italy CDS hits record high before emergency meeting
July 11, 2011 / 8:30 AM / in 6 years

EURO GOVT-Italy CDS hits record high before emergency meeting

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - 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

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