U.S. Markets

U.S. proposal would require clearing more interest-rate swaps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. derivatives regulator on Thursday proposed widening the universe of interest-rate swaps that must be cleared through a central organization, as part of its efforts to align U.S. rules with those overseas.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said its proposed requirement for swaps that exchange interest rate cash flows will be consistent with those in Australia, Canada, the European Union, Hong Kong, Mexico and Singapore.

Since the 2007-09 credit meltdown, regulators worldwide have worked to route varieties of swaps through clearing houses, firms that stand between buyers and sellers and help reduce risks.

Already, existing CFTC rules say that swaps involving the British pound, Japanese yen or euro, as well as those pegged to the LIBOR and EURIBOR floating rate indexes, must be cleared.

The proposal would add the Australian, Canadian, Hong Kong and Singapore dollars, as well as the Mexican peso, Swiss franc, Polish zloty, and the Swedish and Norwegian kronas. It would also encompass the BBSW, CDOR, HIBOR, TIIE, WIBOR, SOR-VWAP and STIBOR floating rate indexes.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler